How NOT to be a Thought Leader.

April 13, 2011

I was recently at a networking event that was a roundtable-style discussion. Sitting next to me was a man who worked in sales for a major brand. His job is to develop relationships and to make his company look good.

As people went around the room introducing themselves, a group of students were introduced. He, in an attempt to be funny, said something to the effect of “Oh, you guys will all be talking about Tweeter or whatever it is that you kids do.” He then proceeded to tell our table that he has never read a blog post and really doesn’t care of about social networking.

Sure, social networking is not for everyone and it’s not important to every job. I mean, not everyone needs to learn something new everyday. Not everyone needs to meet new people, target prospects and develop relationships.  Not everyone needs to keep up with the changing trends in communication. Sales people definitely don’t need to listen to what their markets are saying and what their competition is doing.

In fact, the more I think about it, this man was right. The Tweeter is for children. Facebook is just for playing Farmville. Real business never takes place online.  The studies that show that Baby Boomers spend real time on the internet are wrong. Peter Shankman couldn’t possibly know what he was talking about when he wrote about Facebook and email not being distractions in this post.

And I couldn’t possibly be serious about anything written in this post, could I?

I thought about how the man who I met at the networking event would react if he read my post, but since he said that he has never ever read a blog, I’m guessing he won’t recognize himself here. I hope that you don’t see yourself here either. If you do, let’s talk.  Maybe you need a little coaching because it is perfectly okay not to understand the latest and greatest in social technology. It’s not okay to ignore it.