Social Networking – Twitter, Facebook, Myspace, Linked In

For those of you over 40, beware… times are changing – fast. I was watching an episode of The Office last week, where the theme revolved around technology in the workplace. They hit on the usual things that often occur when new technology (application, computer, PDAs, cell phones etc…) is introduced into an organization. Resistance to change. Older workers/employees feeling pressure to keep up. Possible discrimination against an aging workforce. Most of you know the routine.

If you want to be an effective leader 1 year from now (notice I didn’t say 5 or 10), you need to get plugged in. Just last year, Sacramento County issued Blackberrys to their senior officers in CHP. While some could use it, many were lost. It became a joke amongst the officers when someone missed a meeting or an email because they couldn’t figure out how to use the new technology.

I have been on Linked In, My Space and Facebook for a couple of years now – without really using the features they offer. Based on the recommendation of a friend, I recently started using Twitter about a month ago. Since then, I’ve seen traffic to my blog and website increase. No coincidence. I also found a wealth of information on Twitter. What I found is there are a LOT of credible, smart, well connected people out there. By selectively following others, I come away motivated EVERY time I log on. I am totally convinced that times are changing very quickly.

I also became aware of the impact that Social Networking is having on the marketplace. Branding, Sales, Marketing – are all being transformed by technology. Consider that Barak Obama is now using You Tube as a way to communicate to America.

As a leader, you will need to become proficient in using tools like these to lead. Generation Z – yes they are now in the workforce – is going to expect it. If labor predictions come true, employers are going to have a difficult time keeping talent. Especially if they can’t offer people in their 20s or 30s the technology that they are used to using.

You MUST start getting familiar with the tools now available. If not, you will be left behind. Go get on twitter.

All the best,
All the time
JT