Today's LinkedIn Nugget

Stories are as human as we get

the last bow book
Photo by Clem Onojeghuo on

If you don’t know about the TV series “Stories from the Stage” by now, you should. And you will get hooked!

Pubic Broadcasting has now presented 2 seasons of standup story tellers, not all of whom are professionals, but all wear their hearts on their sleeves, pouring their lives out in short monologues, and the stories are then rearranged along themes: falling in love, backroads of Tennessee, I didn’t see that one coming etc.

The human drama is not always deathly serious. Nor predictable. It’s often fond memories of family warmth around the table.  Or it can be the stark reality of harsh adult life that children have to maneuver.

It’s a newly-arrived immigrant recalling aromas as he reminisces on his mother’s cooking and bringing his new American school friends over to ooh and ahh, it’s the formerly obese girl’s painful reliance on afterschool snacks and Mr. Rogers on TV, telling her she is special, as the now-middle aged woman tells us. You can’t make this stuff up…

Likewise, your story, on LinkedIn, is your career. Truth and marketing mixed. Hearts and minds want to know your progression. It’s the chapters and scenes that make a casual reader stop and understand the vision and opportunity you present.

Please tell us the richness of your career trajectory.

Paint it in colors of logos and video, add textures of audio and PDF files.

Make it a show that we want to listen to, so we will remember you for it.

But as I always say, if you don’t tell us, we don’t get to know just how interesting you really are.

So tell us your career story: past, present, and future!


Today's LinkedIn Nugget

Mission accomplished…

ENDOFANERAI recently concluded my teaching LinkedIn to under-employed baby boomers at Westchester Jewish Community Services’ Career>Connect program.

The funding for the program washed away. I am proud to have participated as a trainer for nearly 9 of its 10 years.

This news disappointed me, but all great things come to an end. This was a fantastic run. I really enjoyed it.

It allowed me to help so many talented people get past the “deer in the headlights” phase of under-employment, urge them to articulate their “why” as they re-established their self-respect, and we heard stories of how they soon become employed, some in positions they never would have attained without a polished LinkedIn profile, as they reported.

I want to publicly thank Jill Schreibman, Naomi Koller, and Sylvia Davi for their support, friendship, and collaboration to make my piece of the program what it became, from its humble beginnings in April 2010. Where did 8 3/4 years go?

To all of you readers whom I met at WJCS, stay in touch and thank you for enriching me. You provided me the “living laboratory” research that I needed to write my soon-to-be-released “LinkedIn for Baby Boomers” online course.

Today's LinkedIn Nugget

Strike two, yer out!

In the roundtable of brief introductions at a networking event, we signalled to one another a desire to speak further afterwards.

Then we chatted, exchanging questions and answers how we can help each other.

She seemed really interested. I was too.

We calendarized a phone appointment.

I was to call her.

I confirmed the day before.

As agreed, I called at the arranged time.

She answered her phone after a number of rings.

Her: ‘Sorry. I meant to email or call you yesterday, but I have a deadline that I have to meet. Can we do this at another time? I can’t take the time to schedule something now.  Send me another calendar invitation. Sorry. Bye.”


Strike one.

Not very sorry, it appears. So, my schedule means little to her, but I’ll forgive, once. 

Me, trying to make something of this call better than the way it started, thinking to myself: “Uh, when?”

Then I turned it around. 

Me, making her own it by email: “Why don’t you send me an email with possible days and times to speak next week, but let’s make a point to talk.”

In my mind: “you owe it to me since you messed up.”

Her: “I apologize. Shall do.”

(Greek chorus: “Don’t expect it. She’s not showing herself as a person you want to work with. She probably cuts in line. She apologizes insincerely. She probably runs with scissors. She thinks her time is worth more than others’.”) 

So I gave her one week. Crickets. I’m spending energy on other professionals who demonstrate the respect attribute, meeting me 50% of the way, unlike her.

By the way I disconnected from her on LinkedIn, not my type of professional connection…

(Reader: you knew that was coming!) 

Strike two, yer out.  

photo credit:
Back to Basics Tuesdays, Today's LinkedIn Nugget

Back to basics Tuesday: uh, no thanks

dontA creative yet poorly intended connection request came my way on a Sunday morning while I was writing my blog posts.

The timing was good, since I needed a blog post for today’s Back To Basics and this one is what-not-to-do.

A. wants to connect to me. I usually get the boilerplate connection request, which is always a certain rejection, in my world.

But…A.’s connection request is more than boilerplate. It’s generic, like a form letter, so much so as to be purposeless and insincere. Reader, don’t be either.

Yes, he may have read my profile and seen I am an early adopter of LinkedIn. but is that a reason to connect?

Make the privilege of asking for connection on LinkedIn a seriously considered one (for both sides) and make it professional. Give context, give purpose of mutual assistance, in other words, be real. What not to do? This:

{Penalty buzzer sounds.}

Uh, my “no thanks,” sent professionally, back to A:

Thanks for asking, but I only connect to people I get to know well through business.

I will respectfully decline your invitation.


You know the drill, if you have been reading here. Be real and be professional.

It’s a commentary on today’s business social media that I have to even say that. 

Today's LinkedIn Nugget

How to manage too many choices

got milk

Real picture. I took it at a coffee bar in a theater complex in Manhattan.

No wonder people get so frustrated with social media, there’s so many platforms to choose from, each with its own way of enabling you to tell a story and to its own audience.

So the meek sink their head in the sand and leave their LinkedIn profile to petrify. You can sense their old, stale LinkedIn a mile away. Hopefully that group does not include you.

Rise to the top, my reader. Be the cream of the crop of choices for your competitors, however you define them. Let your thoughts percolate as they consider you and they’ll choose the flavor you add to your LinkedIn career story, a brew in itself, as you mellow it and make it tastier to the sipper at your profile cup.

One more baaad pun-be caffeinated to keep the reader lively throughout his/her reading your profile, good to the last drop!

The next blog post will appear Tuesday the 28th, Happy, safe Memorial Day weekend.

Today's LinkedIn Nugget

Acronyms can be so deceiving

IDNThis past weekend we went to see a graduate student play at Columbia University in NYC. My wife kept overhearing references to “Emma Fay” and thought it must’ve been the name of a star student, when in fact they were talking about MFA!

I know one person (remaining nameless) who has 6 sets of 3- and 4-letter acronyms after his name. It reads like a chemical formula! And he has 7 more (a numbing total of 13!) in the Certifications section of his LinkedIn profile, where he spells out all 13 acronyms and gives a brief idea what it means and why it is important.

I know a woman who lists CEO, CPA, CFO just after her name in her Headline. These 3 are certainly acceptable acronyms that everyone in business should be familiar with.

Bottom line: beware abbreviations and other industry-specific nomenclature, as not everyone who reads your profile knows your industry vernacular.

Making something hard to understand is confusing to the casual reader on your LinkedIn profile and we all know they go AWOL ASAP PDQ when frustrated!

Nothing to ROFL about. 

Back to Basics Tuesdays, Today's LinkedIn Nugget

Back to Basics Tuesday: places you are logged in on #LinkedIn


Everywhere you go and log in to LinkedIn, they are registering your location. Yes, they do.

I too am guilty of leaving electronic breadcrumb locations of LinkedIn session everywhere I go. Last week I saw I had 46 of them!

You can, and should, clean up the history of those sign-ins and active sessions like I do.

The process is simple and worth a few seconds of your time to clean up after yourself.

And as a special bonus, while you are at the above link in the Help Center, it’s a good idea to clear up and other “permitted services” that manage data sharing from LinkedIn (that you allowed):

These are the services to which you have granted access to your LinkedIn profile and network data. If you remove that access here, they will no longer be able to access your LinkedIn data. To re-enable them in the future, go to the service and grant access again.

I hope you will keep this maintenance up to date. If it means placing it on your calendar, that’s how I now do it. 

My Tuesday “back to basics” blog piece is provided weekly to help answer the most common or stirring questions and comments I receive in my live Q&A sessions and via messages. I hope I have helped you.

Today's LinkedIn Nugget

Ah the people you will meet!


Networking is a participant sport. You have to rumble to make it work. That means a series of email or texts does not count.

You have to have skin in the game. You have to meet face to face, break bread, visit, interact facially, gesturally, and verbally together.

The other day I did all that, over a series of meetings that will likely bear abundant fruit. Perhaps not immediately. Perhaps with additional effort. Perhaps not at all, but I made the effort. Others did too. I give 51% or more. They fill in the rest. These folks I met the other day added more than I expected.

I was invited to a new mastermind group of established and smart people whom I did not know at all, (save 1, who invited me, and another was a former student when he was underemployed) to meet and start the process of confederacy among just 8 who were what will become a monthly breakfast table. Intros, a few words about passions that we pursue outside of business as well, common ground broken, exchange of cards, connections on LinkedIn as an investment in our futures, and we’re now all setting up one-to-one meetings ahead of scheduling of our next group meeting. Rich.

Off to the next meeting that morning, which went 90 minutes though scheduled for 45, in a new colleague’s office, as we conversed (remember that art?) and explored ways to help each other. Results were that I invited him to guest blog (stay tuned) and offered to refer him to an expert he needed to consult for his personal college financial needs, so you see we did not just discuss business, but got into more than just the usual stuff. Mind meld: it was that kind of meeting.

Then later in the afternoon a meeting with another new networking connection, a consultant to nonprofits, and we explored ways he could matriculate best into the group we met (in which I am steering committee member and can offer such advice to help him). He’s nearly 2 years on his own after decades of working for others, so he had a few questions about ways to stand out for the crowd of competitors, and as you can imagine, I had a few pointers to help him. Great start with a great colleague.

Then the evening event was a networking group of solo practitioner lawyers, and my elevator pitch as I made their acquaintances surrounded my LinkedIn work in their space and my ABA book, with a few new ideas that came forth in mutual conversation. BTW, the guest speaker spoke very well about networking tips for lawyers in particular, and anyone else as well.

A 12-hour networking day, interspersed with client service calls because you are never off the hook as an entrepreneur, no matter where you are located at their time of need. One exclaimed, “It’s always such a pleasure to have you explain things. We love how you help us.” Aw shucks.

I slept well that night! Each new day brings new opportunities too.



Today's LinkedIn Nugget

Etude on teaching #LinkedIn, opus 2

piano teacher.jpegYou may recall a post here a couple of  weeks ago with my thoughts on teaching LinkedIn, specifically that some students want to know if “is this what you want me to do?” Well, I’m not done with that topic…

I had the good fortune to sit in on a couple of piano lessons last week, in which a gifted teacher taught 2 prodigious young students how to play “beautifully-er,” if you don’t mind my rhapsodizing with the word. (Like amazing to amazing-er, right?)

It was held at a library and the teacher allowed the public to observe these talented kids play very complex classical pieces, as he nurtured them to become even better by the end of their lessons. It was a most unusual opportunity for me to observe masterful teaching moments, ones that made me happy inside.

More on that in a minute.

The next morning I read a NY Times op-ed with pleasure, by a now-retired pro football player, now-PhD candidate in mathematics at MIT, and one of his comments there resonated with me:

A growing body of research shows that students are affected by more than just the quality of a lesson plan. They also respond to the passion of their teachers and the engagement of their peers, and they seek a sense of purpose. They benefit from specific instructions, constant feedback and a culture of learning that encourages resilience in the face of failure — not unlike a football practice. There are many ways to be an effective teacher, just as there are many ways to be an effective coach.

Back to the promised observations about the piano teacher’s technique: he explained the background of the musical pieces, in one example that JS Bach was highly religious and wrote his music for God, and that’s how the 9 year old boy should play Invention No 4 in D minor, BVW 775, a mere 1 minute long, as if this were religious worship, that this piece was written for harpsichord on which there were no nuances of light and loud sounds, but all notes are equally played. And the boy did just that, so much better by the end of the lesson than at the beginning. The teacher reached a special place in the student and even at this boy’s young age, the teacher (young himself) was able to coax out an inner feeling that was not there originally.

For the 12 year old girl’s assignment Chopin’s Nocturne op. 27 no.2 in D Flat Major, the teacher explained that the highs and lows of the music, with its twists and turns, means every note is to be played confidently, not afraid that the music chords sound surprising as written, and even harder to play, but to be heard, sounding confident, as if she were singing every moment of this long piece. He adjusted her seat to allow her elbows to move her hand to the right places on the keyboard, a physical hindrance that he easily solved for her. It was a pleasure to listen to this gorgeous piece of music, in each of her improvements.

I sat dazzled at what the teacher commented, and complimented aptly, eliciting from each student a capability so much older than his 9 years or her 12 years.

A teacher is made better by willing, capable students.

And I have some style notes to work on in my teaching (don’t we all as consultants?) that will allow my LinkedIn coaching clients to better express their “why they do what they do.”

That is always music to my social media ears.



Today's LinkedIn Nugget

Pronounce this if you can: WDYDWYD



How about “why do you do what you do?”

Yes, that sounds better.

Let it roll off your tongue.

Interviewer and new friend Sandra Bekhor in Toronto tried this acronym in her interview with me (more coming in installments) and we decided to use the real words, not the letters.

Then we explored our “whys.”

Have a look at the video: Enjoy. That’s all you have to do.

I had a really good time with this and she did too. Cross-border business connectivity and fun. Love it!