Feel free to hit "play" on this video below while you read this blog. It is cheerful and will get you smiling, and your head nodding. :)
I was honored to keynote the Northeast Human Resources Association Spring Conference today. I spoke on the transition in play in the world and the opportunity that the social media behavior and tool phenomenon represents for business, and the careers of everyone in the room.
The conference organization committee asked me to spend a few minutes up front explaining why social media was important, in tandem with the conference theme, "Connection, Collaboration, and Communication." I chose to use this video, "Did You Know?" as a way to convey that as much as many people would just like this entire social media thing to go away ... it won't.
My first slide after showing the video was to acknowledge the feelings of many people -- and many companies, today. It read, "Do I have to?" I then shared 3 brief "WIFFY's" -- What's in it for you's.
1. Career Relevance.
2. TTM Leadership Opportunity
3. Diamonds on the Soles of Your Shoes.
POINT 1-- Career Relevance
I referenced the dawn of websites. Do you remember when your company did not have a website? It was okay not to have one in 1996, 7, and maybe even 1998 when Amazon.com became a darling of the world -- but come on! By 2,000, if you didn't have a website you didn't exist.
The same thing is happening today with social networks. It is okay to ignore it for only so long. Soon ... really, really soon, at the rate this thing is changing the world, people will be talking to you like a grandmother if you don't "get it."
POINT 2-- Which brings me to "Time to Market Leadership Opportunity"
I believe we are at an awesome and rare time in the world where if you grasp this change we are in the midst of, you could immediately catapult perception of yourself (and your business) into that of a leader -- beyond whatever leader status you have today. Someone once said a year or so ago that if you only know social media norms to the 1 percent mark, you can still look like a genius to others. Maybe today, you have to get it to the 25% mark -- but still. You get the point. Getting smarter in this space is fairly easy and fast to do. Faster than any degree or certification program, I can assure you. What is requires, mostly, is your deciding to do it. The faster the better. Today, if you have the courage and can take a few barbs, you can soon be seen as a leader. A year or two from now, you will be like those companies who decided to put up a website around 2,000. Can you say laggard?
POINT 3 -- Diamonds on the Soles of Your Shoes
Amazing things happen, from the air, and from right underneath your feet when you start to embrace social media. I joke that it feels like Christmas every week. Unexpected gifts simply arrive my way. People find your blog, they find your tweets ... they find someone who references or your work and includes a hyperlink -- they just seem to find you. Who finds you? People who can add more value to your work, your business objectives, your passions -- people who seem to "get you" and what you're doing.
I get a lot of "diamonds"/grand, delightful, sparkling gifts coming my way from my colleagues at work all the time. The gifts are generally generosity, connection, ideas, or action. They all come from a genuine place of wanting to share these things freely. They come from people I don't pay, or manage. They come from passion. Most of these gifts I never would have enjoyed if I had not ventured "out there" and met these folks on our internal social network. Because of that, I discovered them, and they discovered me -- and more about EMC.
I also get "diamonds" from the outside. Yesterday, alone, I received two unexpected gifts.
- New Book. An notable author and social media maven, Charlene Li of Groundswell, Forrester, and Altemeter fame, sent me a pre-press copy of her next book, "Open Leadership." Presumably, she thought I might like it, and that I might blog about it. She's probably right. It sure was nice to get this early and not have to make an effort to go get it or wonder what it was all about when I started to see the business coverage of it.
- New Talent. Someone I've never met sent me an email. She said she was clicking around on Google and LinkedIn and found my blog and profile. She said she loved what I do and found it aligned with her brand interests and experience. She wondered on the off-chance if I had any openings in the future if I would contact her; she included her LinkedIn, email, and phone number. Well, I do. I did. We met today, and I like her a lot. Diamonds.
That's it for now. I've been saying for some time that I feel as though diamonds fall out of the sky. But then I remembered that catchy little song about the soles of your shoes -- maybe that's better. I mean, who really pays attention to the sole of your shoe? And yet, it is there all along, just ready to be noticed -- no extra money needed. It is just there, waiting for you to leverage it.
----------------- Talk Back ---------------
What diamonds have come your way, or have you noticed of late?
All this diamond commentary reminds me of a great quote I read in TheWeek once. Something like, "All diamonds started out as balls of coal."
Thanks for reading. Feel free to connect!
- Polly Pearson
@PollyPearson on Twitter