10 Great 140 Character Gifts

| | General Leadership

twitter-logo“How can you possibly communicate anything meaningful in 140 characters or less?”  It’s a question I asked myself while being prodded to check out twitter and one I am often asked now.

Boy am I glad I didn’t let my skepticism stop me!

Not only have my interactions on twitter been meaningful, but I consider myself the fortunate recipient of so many gifts given to me throughout the year in 140 character packages.

In the spirit of the holiday season I’d like to share with you 10 ways a simple 140 character tweet can be a gift.

1. The Gift of Sharing and Learning. Whether it is a link to a blog post or article a tweet can be a link to a whole new perspective, knowledge, resource, etc. that you may never have discovered, but are so glad you did.  Through twitter I have discovered wonderful authors and bloggers who continually teach and inspire me, as well as enrich my thinking and provide incredible support and motivation.

2. The Gift of Appreciation. Expressions of thanks and gratitude are a common practice on twitter.  I am continually reminded of just how powerful “thank you” really is.

3. The Gift of Acknowledgment. Whether it is a private acknowledgment or delivered publicly, letting someone know they provided something of value  for you reminds them they matter.  One of the most powerful ways we can acknowledge someone is by letting them know we really listened to them. For those of us who blog it can be the fuel that keeps us going and willing to do the hard work of putting our voice and ideas into the world.

4. The Gift of Spreading Your Ideas Around the World. As of this writing I have visitors to this blog from 15 countries.  I would venture to say that would not have been possible without people on twitter sharing my posts with others.

5. The Gift of Hope. While 140 character may be the intro to a post or article I have discovered so many stories of hope and am continually reminded of the the power of the human spirit through other people’s tweets.

6. The Gift of Inspiration. Every time I sign on to twitter there is at least one tweet in my stream that is exactly what I needed to hear at that moment.  Sometimes it is a quote of someone famous and sometimes it is just words of wisdom delivered by an everyday person willing to take the time to make a difference for others.

7.  The Gift of Support and Encouragement. I joke that twitter has become my virtual water cooler.  But instead of commiserating I find there is a continual stream of support and encouragement.  Sometimes I just show up and listen and am always struck by people’s generosity with each other.

8. The Gift of Friendship. Many people ask me how can you possibly create a meaningful relationship based on the exchange of 140 character tweets.  Yet it is amazing how following someone’s tweets can tell you something far more meaningful about who someone is than you would ever learn through chit chat at a cocktail party.  Twitter is a great way to connect with people, but of course real friendship gets created in person to person interaction.  I talk, skype or meet in real life at least one person I follow on twitter every month.  Those connections have led to treasured friendships and trusted colleagues.  The tweets were simply the introduction.

A very special thanks to Mike Henry (@mikehenrysr), Erin Schreyer (@eschreyer), Shawn Murphy (@shawmu), Tara Alemany (@eandtsmom), Monica Diaz (@monedays), Anne Perschel (@bizshrink), Kat Tansey (@kattansey), Jane Perdue (@thehrgoddess), Dorothy Dalton (@dorothydalton), Chuck Musciano (@cmusciano & @effectivecio), Jennifer Miller (@JenniferVMiller), Rick Ross (@rickross10).  I truly appreciate how generously you have shared your support and wisdom throughout the year.

9. The Gift of Collaboration. For me personally the best example is The Lead Change Group.  Through Mike Henry’s inspiration and leadership a wonderfully diverse group with shared values has self organized and is generating great content, learning from and supporting each other.  A few are  now even now working together and new possibilities for collaboration continue to be explored.  You can download the e-book we created on the sidebar to the right on this blog.

Also, check out this month’s Leadership Development Blog Carnival – Special Holiday edition hosted by Jane Perdue this month.  Many of these folks met on twitter.

10. The Gift of Partnership. I began this year with an adventure into Online Radio with Lolly Daskal (@LollyDaskal).  It was a great experience from which I learned so much and met amazing people.  Although we decided to put the project on hold, in the process I gained a treasured friend in Lolly, a woman whose story is a testament to the resilience and triumph of the human spirit.

I end this year having begun forming a new business partnership, @Polymash, with Robyn Stratton-Berkessel (@RobbieCat) and Juergen Berkessel (@JuergenB).  POLYMASH offers a set of digital tablet publishing services and technologies for content owners and authors.

The best gifts of all let someone know you care and they matter.

Thank you to all of my twitter friends.  You continue to inspire me with your generosity and your wisdom.  I truly appreciate  you for giving me all of these gifts throughout the year.

What difference has 140 characters made for you?  And how can we spread these gifts both online and off throughout the season?


Enter A Comment

Mike Henry Sr.   |   08 December 2010   |   Reply


Thanks for the kind words and the thoughtful post. I’m grateful for your friendship and the way things have clicked because of social media. I have more new friends in the last 16 months than in just about any era from my past. I feel sorry for the people who don’t get it.

I also enjoy just seeing the avatars of my friends. Ideas and innovation are spurred as these high-caliber people are top of mind. This has been a very energizing time since I started connecting with people online too.

Thanks, Mike…

Thanks, Mike…

Susan Mazza   |   14 December 2010   |   Reply

Thanks Mike. It has been a very energizing time!

Anne Perschel   |   08 December 2010   |   Reply

Lovely. Lady from the North stands with folded hands by her heart, and bows her head to the Lady from the South. With gratitude for you as a friend and colleague.

Susan Mazza   |   14 December 2010   |   Reply

Thank you Anne! Lady from the South returns the bow of gratitude 🙂

Rick Ross   |   11 December 2010   |   Reply

How many articles have I seen struggle to explain Twitter? I have no idea; I lost count long ago.

This is the first post that truly captures the essence of the tool. I consider it an instant classic and quickly added it to my bookmarks.

What separates this post from others is that it so deftly captures those intangible benefits that most (myself included) would have never expected.

Who would’ve ever guessed that a tool called “Twitter” would be so effective at helping like-minded people connect and get to know one another? Not me.

Finally, I’m honored to be included in the “The Gift of Friendship” section. Thank you for this exceptional post.

Susan Mazza   |   14 December 2010   |   Reply

Wow – honored to be bookmarked by you! Thank you Rick

I have really enjoyed our conversations this year and look forward to our continued exchange in 2011.

Dorothy Dalton   |   14 December 2010   |   Reply

Susan – thank you so much for the mention. I have really appreciated our connection and really value your insights and contributions. I’m honoured and humbled! Have a wonderful Christmas and all good wishes for 2011.

Susan Mazza   |   14 December 2010   |   Reply

Thank you Dorothy. I think you were my first voice to voice twitter connection from “across the pond”. I continue to learn much from you and look forward to a time when I actually meet you in real life over a cup of tea!

Monica Diaz   |   14 December 2010   |   Reply

Oh, Susan! You are a true wordsmith! This is exactly how I feel about it and I am going to steal it for my blog! 😉 Seriously, I LOVE the connections we have created. Twitter buzz brought me in and I almost gave up at first thinking it was silly or unimportant, but as the community builds, so does the subtle connection that bridges the gap through space. I feel energized when I tweet with the likes of you! And all the people you mention here are dear to me in many ways. I also connected to my lovely Gusto Women there: @marionchapsal @elizweiland @sharoneden @lattitude4u and THEY are a blessing in my life. Thanks for your post, for being my friend, colleague and partner in crime this year and for leading change so dilligently! I love you, Susan.

Erin Schreyer   |   14 December 2010   |   Reply

As I have always said, you, my friend, have a gift with words!! This is a wonderful list (and I can relate to everything you mention!!)

Thank you for honoring me with a shout too. My world has expanded beyond my wildest imagination because of Twitter and because of the wronderful relationships I’ve been blessed by as a result. You are a perfect example!!

Keep up for your great work!!!

Susan Mazza   |   14 December 2010   |  

Thank you Erin. Your passion for life, for people being their absolute greatest selves and for making a difference wherever you go is a constant source of inspiration to me. Thank you for the gift of your friendship.

Sending you a “woo hoo” for an amazing 2011!

Susan Mazza   |   14 December 2010   |   Reply

Thank you Monica. You are truly a continuous source of inspiration and wisdom for me. I am grateful for your friendship and look forward for our next opportunity to hand out in real life! I love you too my friend!!

Susan Steinbrecher   |   17 December 2010   |   Reply


You’ve put into words my thoughts and sentiments exactly. I’ve always been resistant to technology (and still struggle with it), but in the same breathe what a joy it has been to have broadened the circle of communication of sharing, learning and support that come with the 2.0 world…both on and off line.

I agree with all of your points whole-heartedly.

With thanks and appreciation.