Digital Leaders 100: on impostor syndrome (also, vote me!)

This is a unusual post from me that: 

a) asks you a favour (I want your vote!);

b) ponders why talented people are so modest.

dl_headera) The favour 

I’ve been added to the 2014 Digital Leaders 100 list! I’m very honoured. It’s open to a public vote and I would like you to vote for me

In my category, Local Government Official, the criteria is:

“A person who, in the last 12 months, has shown great leadership in their job in local government in championing and leading others to transform a local service, making innovative organisational changes and driving a digital by default culture when delivering their services locally.”

I’d like to think my work in Monmouthshire last year covers this – from leading a team to launch a low budget council corporate website with a difference, to championing and using social media to promote openness and democracy.

If you like or have learned anything from my work, your vote would be appreciated greatly.  

Vote Hel in Digital Leaders 100Monmouthshire Council

One of my fellow nominees is Joanna Goodwin who worked with me in the last year and is tremendous in all ways possible. Jo and I can be proud to be flying the flag for Monmouthshire County Council.  

Freedom to experiment, get on with things and to challenge – that’s the culture we have thrived in.

The fact that one council has two representatives is testament to our capacity to blow our trumpet but also to leadership that encourages innovation – not just ideas but the application of our ideas and schemes.  Cheers MCC.

The start-up category

Very recently, I quit full-time employment to concentrate on growing Social For The People. I love it! My company helps public sector organisations to communicate more effectively using social media.  

I have been lucky enough to be nominated in the ‘start-up’ category too. I’m not asking for your vote there – I’ve long admired and learned from the fellas at Comms2point0 who are also in this category. Vote for Comms2point0, they rule.

b) The common theme – modesty

When the nominations were announced, I was delighted I was on a list with loads of hugely talented people I have met, read about, tweeted and generally followed in their careers.

People I know well or feel like I know well. 

As we congratulated each other, I noticed we said things like:


“I can’t believe it”

I don’t know how that happened”

“Pleased just to be on the list”


I said and thought all of this myself but – hold on: all these people are brilliant. I nominated lots of the people I am up against, so I know they’re great and worthy.

The impostor syndrome has struck! 

There are lots of other great people who could be on the list, agreed. But nobody who deserves it any more than the people listed. 

Maybe we’re self-critical because we want to be the first to say we think we could do better. Jobs like ours involve constantly jumping hurdles, enduring criticism from armchair experts, and general misunderstanding about what we do.

But we’re on the list because we work hard to get local government in line with modern life: connecting people and making services easier to use.

So to those I know are excellent:

And those I’ve heard really good things about:

  • Lorna Perry
  • Georgia Turner
  • Keith Aubrey
  • Isabel McKnight
  • Steve Halliday

I wanted to remind you that your work may be ordinary to you, but it’s extraordinary to those of us looking on. Let’s celebrate our work. 

6 thoughts on “Digital Leaders 100: on impostor syndrome (also, vote me!)

  1. Reblogged this on michalarudman and commented:
    Im really happy to Vote for Helen, she’s doing great things on social media and I find her inspirational in how she works to make links, as you know this is the basis for everything I’m trying to do too. Also, I do agree with the weird moment you are actually nominated for something you do try to do well. its such a lovely moment To get that recognition at any stage- When people started mentioning me for the (alternative) power players I genuinely wondered why and thought they were just being sweet – although I could certainly see why the others were nominated. So, good luck to Helen, and well done to all the others on the list. Keep up the amazing work, you deserve the recognition!

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