When Calls to Action Fail

It seems that every article I’ve read recently about social media engagement and non-profit management emphasizes the importance of a call to action. It’s not enough to tell your readers about yourself; you need to give them a push to follow it up with some kind of action. On that point I do not disagree. But these arbitrary deadlines remind me of infomercials and are at odds with the behavior I expect from respected non-profits. I’ve seen a few that, in my eyes, fail in a bit way: these arbitrary deadlines can make a casual reader think that donations are not needed after the deadline.

After spending the New Year’s weekend offline, I had a lot of catching up to do. Twitter and LinkedIn go on without me and some of my blogger friends didn’t take the weekend off.

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How to Fail Well

There’s a natural human desire to avoid failing. If we care enough to do something, we want to do it right. Admitting failure hurts.

I’ve made enough mistakes in my life to have learned something: not just individual lessons learned from particular mistakes, but a big picture sense of how to recognize when things aren’t going well. I haven’t completely mastered the art, but I’m willing to share what I know—after all, I’ve learned so much from others’ mistakes that it’s time I shared my own lessons.

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