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Your family tree
Think. Write. Lead. - Issue #81
The best part of my free time during the last two weeks has been dedicated to genealogy.
A friend who’s a pro at ancestry research volunteered to do my family tree and, oh boy, she found some cool stuff.
For example, from my mom’s side, my ancestors arrived in Colombia from Spain and Portugal in the mid-1500s and within one generation they had mixed with the indigenous people—they became “mestizos”.
Then stayed in the same region (Antioquia) for the next 500 years. They were actually part of the founding families of the city of Medellin.
On my dad’s side, my ancestors came from Barcelona, working for the Spanish monarchy and serving as captains, mayors, and the like. At least one of them ended up in prison for a long time.
As you can expect, researching my family tree led me to some insightful lessons that can be applied to thought leadership and content creation.
1. Understanding Roots
Just like tracing back family roots gives context to your personal story, understanding the history and evolution of ideas can enrich your POV and your content.
Do some research about the origins of your industry or field of expertise.
2. Adaptation and Evolution
Families change and adapt over time.
Likewise, businesses, content strategies, and industries evolve. Don’t be afraid of being adaptable and staying ahead of trends.
3. Visual Representation
Ancestry.com allows you to create visual family trees, making it easier to understand your lineage.
When developing and communicating your leading thoughts, use visual elements to make complex information more accessible and engaging.
Research in genealogy is not always easy. You can hit dead ends or lack of records (especially as you go further back in history).
If you’re lazy, you won’t go too far.
And the same can be said for research in content creation.
But you have to put in the work; there is no other way.
The only way to build credibility in your thought leadership is with in-depth research to back up your arguments.
How well do you know the history and foundational principles of your industry or craft? How can you incorporate this knowledge to add depth to your content?
How adaptable is your current strategy or content approach? What trends should you be aware of to stay ahead of the curve?
How are you using visual elements to enhance understanding and engagement? Can you incorporate charts, images, or videos to make your content more appealing?
Are you conducting thorough and accurate research for your content? How can you ensure that your content is not only engaging but also credible and authoritative?
Research and write a blog post on the history of a concept, technology, or trend within your field. Analyze how understanding this history enriches current practices.
Analyze a past project or piece of content, considering what worked and what didn't. Write a revision plan that takes into account new trends or feedback.
Create an infographic or visual guide related to a complex topic within your field.
Choose a controversial topic within your industry and write a well-researched argumentative article, backed with credible sources.
As I studied my family tree, I realized that our youngest son was the first in his direct line to be born outside of Colombia in five centuries.
Our decision to move to North America 20 years ago, broke a pattern that lasted centuries.
Most of my ancestors were laborers—surprisingly, there were no authors or thought leaders in the family.
I guess we like to be different.
What you do today may seem inconsequential…
But it may have historical significance.
You don’t have to be defined by those who came before you.
So, don’t be better. Be the one.
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