Today's LinkedIn Nugget

Enduring words of “why”

We lost a great mind in Ruth Bader Ginsburg. She fought against the tide all her career, itself a story of perseverance, and did so unrelentingly and continually won new ground.

Now as her final honor, she is the first woman to lie in state at the Capitol.

She told why in every giant step she took.

In Simon Sinek’s seminal book “Start with Why” he expounds on the requirement to convince others to join your own revolution, to explain to skeptics and naysayers why you are doing what you are doing, so much more powerful than what you are doing.

Without comparing RBG to others, this is exactly what MLK did and JFK, Mandela too. They saw a new dawn and articulated why it was achievable in their lifetime, and left a legacy for us to complete.

RBG has left an indelible mark on our progress. She achieved rockstar status in popular culture, an astonishing feat for a SCOTUS justice without a PR agent to pump her and soundbite her.

A few of her quotes that demonstrate a vision, her “why” (from CNN):

Women will have achieved true equality when men share with them the responsibility of bringing up the next generation.

Dissents speak to a future age. It’s not simply to say, ‘My colleagues are wrong and I would do it this way.’ But the greatest dissents do become court opinions and gradually over time their views become the dominant view. So that’s the dissenter’s hope: that they are writing not for today, but for tomorrow.

And perhaps the best “why: quote of all:

Fight for the things that you care about, but do it in a way that will lead others to join you.

Thank you RBG. Your “why” is a blessing to this country and its progression.

Will you be memorable for your “why,” in your own spheres? Do you tell your “why” in your LinkedIn profile and other places as your brand trails before and after you?

Back to Basics Tuesdays, Today's LinkedIn Nugget

Back to Basics Tuesday: your company profile Page: it’s not about you!

There’s another way to brand on LinkedIn. Start a separate company profile Page to speak about your firm (not you): value proposition, contact details, products, services, with a rotating spotlight on one of them.

The company profile Page is not the same as your personal profile, no matter how small the size of your firm. I need to make that clear, as it is one of the most common mistakes I see on LinkedIn personal profiles: using the company description to explain your current job there and no company profile Page in its place.

In my case, I am effectively the sole employee of each of the 3 firms I started, but each of my companies has its own brand and I have my own distinct personal brand, partially composed of my firms’ reputation and additionally with my persona.

I have to use my unique voice in each firm, depending on the role and the company from which I am serving the client. Multipreneurship has its definite marketing and branding challenges and one of its merits comes in the form of the company Page. So in my case, I have separate company Pages and an independent personal profile.

In each company Page, I assert the voice that will convey “why buy from my company.” I don’t copy-paste my website material here. I am speaking to a different audience on LinkedIn (savvy business pros) vs. the internet (the universe) and no one should read the same thing twice. I have an opportunity to speak to a finite audience about the company I developed and work in. The same about my other company Pages.

If you have employees who have any contact with the business public, be sure the message on their personal profiles and that of the company Page all are in synch; do not force them to be the same, or obviously contrived to be that way, but allow their personality differences to rise in how they express themselves; one apart from the others in their own ways, the richness of the company brand as a sum greater than its parts, and this will come across well, only when engineered correctly. Yes, it takes coordination. The public should not be confused by what they see.

Conversely, a single weak link in the company’s brand profile chain can create confusion and loss of focus to an attention-deficit reader, so be aware and review what your employees are saying on their profiles to keep the firm and personal brands on point. It takes coordination too.

Mission accomplished, only if you feed the company Page regularly.

The company Page is a searchable and important aspect of your company brand on LinkedIn.

Use it well and do not let it appear shallow or go stale. It’s one of the 2 essential parts of your LinkedIn brand.

Today's LinkedIn Nugget

I really do mine some gems

I love what I do.

I really do. And reinforcing the passion I have for my work comes from the chain of events that sometimes unfold in front of me.

I was speaking to a guy in Illinois last week, referred by another amazing connection we share, who then connected me to one of his favorites, who then connected me to someone else.

By the end of this amazing chain, I had 3 more podcasts arranged in the next few weeks.

My first book is the direct result of an introduction a few years ago by a colleague from one of my networking groups to her editor at the publisher who happened to be in NYC, we 3 met for breakfast, and the rest is history, even if that editor I immediately liked and looked forward to working with went to another part of the publisher and I had to abide a new editor…and now the second edition of my book is in process.

Big ups and small downs but definitely an intense upside to my career.

I put in my penance time in corporate America in the 80’s and 90’s, but as hard as those memories are breaking large rocks in to smaller rocks, I may not have realized it then, but I was honing my mining craft throughout and learning how to go out on my own to meet the amazing-er people I surround myself with.

Success stories, all the product of LinkedIn and enlightened networking, all the best part of the love of what I do.

I’m fortunate. I know it. I keep finding gems in the rocks I turn over.

PS I am taking Monday off for the Yom Kippur holiday so I will see you here next Tuesday. 

Today's LinkedIn Nugget

Sharing something to a small group on #LinkedIn

I spoke about my tap-dancing talents in my recent Ask Me Anything (“AMA”) a week ago today and my faux pas (“false step” in French, which seems like a good choice of words here).

The question was how to create and send a message, or share something, to a small group (like 2 connections, or more). I promised the group and answer. And I have it here for you too JIC you wondered…

I had to think it through and will extract maximum mileage in this blog since I am unashamed to admit I don’t know everything LinkedIn (yes double negative for the grammarians) that I am challenged with at AMAs.

But I noodled it out on my own, (cue sounds of back-patting) and want to share it with you, so here are the steps:

  1. open the profile of one of the recipients to send the message (either a 1st degree connection or not–it works for both)
  2. click the white “More” button on the right side of their profile towards the top
  3. a dropdown will appear and click “share profile via message”

4. a. the next small screen you see will have inserted the LinkedIn profile URL of the person you chose in step 1 above and allow you then to share that profile with someone else or others whose name(s) you can insert in the top of the box to create a small group. PS I use this frequently to introduce 2 or more people, using their profile URLs as contact details.

4. b. be sure to include a message for context, or the URL of the website or article you want them to see. Notice you can also attach a photo, file on your hard drive, and I might add a PDF, but please hold back on the GIFs and emoticons since this is a professional forum IMHO.

4. c. also you can delete the LinkedIn profile URL in step 4. a. above if you don’t intend to make an introduction and use this same process to deliver some other message or linked article to that small group. You can name that group and come back to it later for more sharing to them.

Ah, step 4. c.! That’s what klutzily escaped me.

It took me a few creative sashays out of my ordinary usage of this process and now we all know how to do this!

I am waltzing now! You can too. Shall we dance?


Today's LinkedIn Nugget

Wondering what’s next on tap?

Last week I initiated my “Ask Me Anything” series for a networking group I want to be more active in. No better way than to volunteer 15 or so minutes a week to answer any questions, anything LinkedIn. Just drop by and ask.

I was quite impressed by the depth of the questions from the 8 participants. No shrinking wallflowers in the bunch.

Then, one question came, and I clearly struggled with how to answer and it showed.

And I failed, yes bombed.

But your intrepid LinkedIn coach promised he would figure it out and give the answer the following week.

Immediately upon the conclusion of the AMA it came to me. Wouldn’t you know?

I tested the solution on the asker and two other colleagues on the call. Yup, I had it, just about 5 minutes too late and after losing some face.

Now I’m ready.

You know that there’s always something else to learn, or recall, that you just can’t come up with in a 15-minute tap dancing routine in an AMA. This was one of them.

I knew the risks of holding AMAs. The group seemed sympathetic to my fumble, so I intend to redeem myself next week and move on.

Honesty to say “I don’t know but I will get that answer” has always served me better than BSing my way through, and I will thank the colleague who asked for increasing my knowledge base, and theirs with this nifty trick I recalled.

What goes around comes around, just as many in the group thanked me later for my time and donated expertise.

More tap dance lessons next week.

Back to Basics Tuesdays, Today's LinkedIn Nugget

Back to Basics Tuesday: best depicting yourself as a tech-savvy professional

The complex, noisy world we live in is bombarded with new technologies, ever-smarter entrants seeking to simplify and optimize, younger participants with vision, older players with experience, all coalescing around a topic, a subject, and art or a science.

That means there will always be outliers who need to work especially diligently on their LinkedIn profiles to tell exactly “why” and have recommenders and endorsers tell “how” well their colleague does their “why.”

Like multipreneurs, like lapsed lawyers, like people in nontraditional roles or those who are employed in new, emerging industries, or those who experienced nonlinear careers (took bulk time off i the middle), or, or, or…

Which means do not ladle in a broth of acronyms and techno-jargon. For most of us, our eyes (and minds) glaze over when you do that.

Tell us since we want to know. You have to tell us well.

But don’t tell us about your company in your personal LinkedIn profile. Save that for your company profile Page.

Rocket scientists, you can indeed tell the story of your career without all the science. You can still send those who want to read the tech portions to links within your profile.

Which means in essence, assume nothing about our technical expertise, and include everyone, providing other material to those who really want to delve deeper, as a professional would always do. Because you never know who is looking at your profile.

Some people who need to avail themselves and their company of your skill set may just be lay people.

And it’s already hard enough to get them to visit your profile and really easy to make them flee. And they will not come back if you alienate them!

Today's LinkedIn Nugget

Encore! Encore!

I first came across the phrase “encore career” when I taught a class alongside a co-presenter whose spouse was entering that special career phase: early retirement after a successful artistic career, yet due to a medical issue with his hands (his livelihood), was home for a couple of weeks and realized that he was ready to offer others what he had learned: his mental wealth for his mental health.

Same story, in essence, later on with a friend retired from a very responsible job in NYC and moved to Florida, only to find that playing golf every other day was not enough mental challenge and he sought to become a consultant with all his experience yet never having run his own business.

And last week, a recent retiree with a dearth of experience and recognized widely by the community for her success came to me to coach her to tell her “why” on LinkedIn to find other advisory roles to assist companies based on her experience. She was ready to tackle meaty, thorny situations others had no experience with.

So on your feet, retirees, offer the professional world what you can do for them, based on the scars, bruises you earned, the wins you celebrated for 40+ years, and the accumulated experience you are ready to draw on, to help others. Not so much about you, but more about your services and expertise to improve the plights of so many others.

You can help businesses, help nonprofits, help individuals, but also help yourself stay youthful, relevant and invested in the healthy career step you are about to embark on.

(I am standing, applauding): Bravo/brava (as the case may be)! Encore!

Today's LinkedIn Nugget

I’m Ghana scream!

Recently fake people with profiles of saying they are nurses in hospitals in Ghana are trolling me to connect. They sure don’t dress like nurses, given their headshots, and they all current attend state universities in the Midwest USA and all are following the same CEOs of major US corporations.

I’m on to you. You will be reported and blocked.

Maybe LinkedIn will someday allow us to block a country entirely or multiple variables (suggestively dressed nurses in Ghana who never finished a BA degree?) in particular.

With all due respect to the legitimate professionals in Ghana, there’s little business for me in your country so I would prefer to limit your access and concentrate on the authentic and the attainable.

Hear me?

Today's LinkedIn Nugget

Don’t fence us out

Somewhere on a Vermont country road

Fences are everywhere.

Please drop the fences around your mental need to tell others your worth.

Many professionals I come across, including 2 new coaching clients I picked up a couple of weeks ago, know that they have to say why them, they just can’t.

Fenced in. Fencing others out.

In the case of LinkedIn, fences do not make good neighbors. Your neighborhood is 706 million professionals who can search, read, fall in “like” with you, contact you.

You are expected to make them fall in “love.” As in sign your contract.

You know fences are defensive. However, business branding should be inviting.

Nevertheless we choose the fences we employ. Fences can be built with small holes like chicken wire and with large spaces in between like wooden horse fences. No matter what material you use, no matter where you construct them, no matter what size you allow between the barriers, something will either get stuck within, or prevented from getting in.

Stuck in or out defies the “social” in social media.

Don’t build fences.

Casual visitors will not attempt to jump your fence. It takes too much effort. Interested ones might too.

Let those in who can appreciate your worth, your ikiagi, your “why.”

Today's LinkedIn Nugget

Not-so-good grief. Twice in a day.

Once on Facebook. Once on LinkedIn. One friend’s birthday and another’s work anniversary, respectively, appeared on my screen.

One I knew died way too early. I knew him almost all my life as we grew up across the street from each other. He drove me to school when my parents thought I was waiting for the bus.

The other, I wished a happy work anniversary, and as I found out yesterday from a mutual connection, had died over a year ago of after a brave fight with cancer, so imagine my shock when she advised me of this.

Help the families with handling their social media presence as part of their past life: they can be memorialized on Facebook and their profiles removed from LinkedIn.

So this most unwelcome surprise doesn’t happen to someone else as it just did to me.

In doing so, you help honor their memory.