Sunday evenings from 7pm onwards is my set time for preparing for the week ahead. Once I have accomplished the most urgent prep work, I get me a glass of Chardonnay and reward myself with one hour surfing. That includes a glimpse on LinkedIn.
As much as I hate Facebook, I love LinkedIn. It’s a very effective way of getting updates on the moves of colleagues. It’s also in a certain way a form of authorised industrial espionage; ‘authorised’ as the input comes from the members themselves. I see that John, the CFO of ABC just linked with Peter from Accenture; so John is probably going for the implementation of his long awaited European shared services structure. He just needs a consulting firm to convince the full Board. And Donald, the Head of L&OD at XYZ linked yesterday with Tatiana in Kiev, with Fernando in Madrid en with Lee in Boston. Donald has clearly done another graduate recruitment road show.
It’s also great to admire the creativity of some people in setting their job title. I reckon some need an A4-page sized business card. Like Peter, Client Engagement Enterprise Architect, Healthcare and Clinical Systems. And Tomasz, Ukraine and Moldavia fine cut tobacco category Director. And Petra, Vice President Regulatory Affairs, Medical Affairs, Quality and Pharmaco Vigilance. Poor Petra; what a job. But I have a massive appreciation for John whose name tag on LinkedIn is followed by ‘MBA, MPH, MIS, MSCM, Meng’. I reckon he’s also certified in Lean, Six-Sigma Black Belt, ITIL and PRINCE2. I just don’t understand that this smart man is not having a zillion followers.
One thing though starts to annoy me; massively. It’s the top line influencer posts from proclaimed thought leaders (excluding you of course Sir Branson); sometimes in terms of content weakness and so frequently in terms of the article’s headline. I think that most of these authors went on a marketing training course and have learned that to attract many readers, your punchy headline needs to include figures. Last week, my glass of white wine was not even half finished and I had been inducted in: ’19 Brilliant lessons to…’, ‘One reason why we hate…’, ‘One big idea for 2013’, ‘The top 10 reasons to…’, ‘5 Career Game changers to…’, ‘Three resolutions for social media’, ‘How to: 4 simple tips for…’, ‘My hundred most popular tweets’, ‘Five tips on winning’, ‘The three biggest leadership lessons’, ’11 Ways to gauge….’, ‘5 Types of people to run like heck from’.
By this time, you probably ran away from this article; super annoying isn’t it. All these masters of wisdom pretend that you can capture business life in three or five or 19 tips and tricks. I have my doubts on that. It’s cheeky and cheap and it makes me seriously doubt on the quality of many of these articles. Therefore; here are my ‘10 tips to stop wasting your time’. Or let’s reduce it to three. One: take all of that information with a large pinch of salt. Two: be aware the info has rarely seen in depth academic research. And three: the numbers of three, five, seven, ten or whatever is generally solely based on the level of creativity of the author. In some cases, it’s purely based on the desired word count or length of the blog. Now it’s not just a LinkedIn issue; you’ll find the same nonsense approach on WordPress, Forbes, the FT and many other blog fora.
That’s it. I leave you with three kisses. Now that thought comes from another headline on LinkedIn; a figure-less but oh so attracting title: ‘Do you give good social hugs?’.