By Nancy Fredericks
Nancy Fredericks pens Women Lead Change's "Mindful Mondays" column, appearing the second Monday of every month. Fredericks is a preeminent Business Executive Strategist, Author and Thought Leader. Corporations like Johnson & Johnson, PepsiCo, Adobe, Allergan and Transamerica have retained her to optimize individual and organizational performance. You can find her at www.thrivewithnancy.com. The views of Nancy Frederick's blogs represent her own and not necessarily the views of Women Lead Change.
How adept are you at generating a strategically designed network with an eye on adding oomph to your career?
You probably remember blogs and videos where I addressed this issue in the past. Recently, I realized I’ve been remiss by not speaking up more frequently on this topic. Perhaps my avoidance is because I’ve never been overly fond of the venue, as it feels like building inauthentic relationships.
Yes. Indeed, this element exists, but rich, deep emotions aren’t essential to producing a potent, thriving communicative network.
Engaging in a broad network consistently will give you a leaders-edge when employed purposefully.
Suppose you believe social media isn’t for you. You don’t see how it will help your career progress. In that case, I encourage you to rethink your position and take a leaf out of other senior executives’ playbooks.
The reality is that presidents, founders, and CEOs who are active on social media channels are more likely to show stronger leadership skills than fellow CEOs who aren’t.1
What are these competencies? Social media CEOs are:
- 89 percent stronger in empowering employees
- 52 percent better at communicating in a compelling way
- 46 percent more likely to be rated as “influential”
- 36 percent more adept at cultivating networks of people
- 9 percent more passionate about achieving results
- 16 percent better decision makers2
Social media is a powerful vehicle for CEOs, and it can be for you also. But it isn’t without its pitfalls.
The upside is that social media is the perfect environment to introduce yourself strategically.
The downside is that it can also be the destruction of your career. How you tap into it determines whether it reinforces or damages you.
Here are several “dos” and “don’ts” if you’re ready to up the ante on your current or launch your social media presence with your career in mind.
- “Don’t” Shoot Yourself in the Foot. “Do” become friends with LinkedIn as it aids you in connecting to and being seen by high-level senior leaders. There is no question companies today are using social media to identify expertise and high potential employees in minutes.
- A joint survey produced by Lou Adler and LinkedIn reveals that: 85 percent of all jobs are filled via networking.3
- A recent LinkedIn research report indicates 94 percent of recruiters use LinkedIn to vet candidates.4
- “Do” See Social Media As A Two-Way Street. “Don’t” interface with others as only a one-way communication channel. The potency of this medium is generating interaction with your network where you can initiate broader relationships across nations, companies, and hierarchic levels.
- “Don’t” Treat Social Media Casually. “Do” define who you choose to be in this highly-visible and influential environment. You want to engender an authentic presence and one that will stand the test of time because you aspire to drop hints of your potential, not simply represent you today.
No question, we’re in a new, more competitive work environment. I don’t mean to belabor the topic. I hope you consider your involvement, especially if you haven’t bought into the criticality of using a social media presence for your career future. The evidence is clear, so let me nail it down, at least I hope it will work for you, with these last facts:
- All CEOs of the Fortune 500 are on LinkedIn and leveraging social media for their own executive branding efforts.5
- 93 percent of CEOs on social media experience it led to better and stronger connections with the company’s investors, employees, and customers.6
- 60 percent of respondents in one survey strongly believe that top-level executives who do not use social media will eventually become less relevant.7
5Article: What is Executive Branding, J.T. O’Donnell
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