Wondering Out Loud

Join your LinkedIn network? But I hardly know you

I took a call from a potential vendor the other day. Anyone who works in the digital media space will recognize the name, so I’ll keep that detail to myself. The call went well and, in the end, I think I can make use of some of their products and services to help achieve OptiMine’s marketing goals. At the end of the call, I asked the rep to send me additional information I could share with the team and he told me to expect an email with the requested documents. So far, the only email I’ve received from Dave was completely unexpected: an invitation to join his LinkedIn network.

Maybe I’m being a bit sensitive – something I’ve never been accused of – but I don’t think a 60 minute sales call entitles Dave to ask me to become linked. After all, I hardly know him. My personal practice is to reserve links for those I know, trust and admire. so accepting Dave’s invitation would, in my mind, be the functional equivalent of exchanging business cards. That’s what V-cards are for. I’ve spent several years building my network on LinkedIn. And while it’s true I don’t communicate regularly with every one of my contacts, each of them is a contact for a reason.

I will not be accepting Dave’s invitation – at least not now.

How do you manage your LinkedIn contacts? Are you particular about who you invite or whose invitation you accept?




June 22, 2011 Posted by | Social Media | , , , | Leave a comment

Beauty and the beast

I was at a youth hockey game Tuesday night – with 3 kids playing hockey I spend a lot of hours at the arena – and was fascinated by what I saw unfolding on the ice. Two players for the Falcons, the good guys, were absolutely dominating the play. Both are centers and one played every other shift because of a short bench. For the sake of clarity let’s call the boys S & J.

The kids involved in the game are 10-12 years old, and it’s not unusual to see one or two with skills that are much more advanced than their peers. What is unusual about what I witnessed is that neither S or J fall into that category. In fact, if you saw either of them at the local rink you would never pick them as being part of an A level team. Both can skate, but there are many others who are faster, smoother and more graceful. Both can handle the puck, but there are others who do it with more finesse. Both can make and receive passes, but others do so with more accuracy and softer hands. Truth is, of the 30 players in the ice that night, S & J would rank in the bottom half in terms of skills. 

What S & J have, that got them a combined 4 goals and 5 assists in a 9 -2 victory, is more drive, tenacity, aggressiveness and just plain hockey sense, than everyone else. The way they play the game is a coach’s dream – or perhaps a bosses dream?

It can be a wonderful thing to have a team filled with highly skilled individuals, but adding a couple with fewer skills who have a desire to learn, grow and achieve more than some thought possible can be the catalyst that takes a team from the pretty good to the upper ranks. And I’m no longer talking only about sports. The same is true in business. I’ve watched a lot of teams flounder because they are made up of the brightest of the bright. The problem is, when everyone is an all star, there’s no one left who’s working hard to show their stuff and move ahead. Yes, I’m generalizing here, but you get the point. Without S & J the Falcons would be an ordinary team.

With their presence, everyone’s level of play is elevated because no one wants to be seen as the weak link on the team. Especially when the ones doing  the pushing look – at first glance – like those links.

February 4, 2010 Posted by | Leadership | , , | Leave a comment


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