Perception isn’t just a form of reality. It’s the only one.
Case in point – LinkedIn. The ultimate professional’s go-to place, where most of us review, edit and polish our profiles ad nauseum. Get ‘viewed’ as articulate achievers and impress with credentials. It is, after all, the road to El Dorado – the next job, business opportunity, speaking engagement, or even that high profile connection.
When a chance misclick led me to Bill Gates’ profile instead of his article, I was struck by how little detail he (or his team) had shared. Yes, we all know who he is – being a Co-founder of Microsoft says it all. The man is his own bio. Clearly, Gates doesn’t need to use power adjectives to list what he’s done.
But was this a one-off or was there a pattern here?
Curious, I trolled to discover what the other industry A-listers had to share. Turned out to be the same story for so many.
Brief. Succinct. Understated
Michael Dell outlines bare bones details of his various jobs, but no details, awards or honors. Mark Cuban who has 1.8 M followers on LinkedIn, lists only one job dating back to 2000. Arianna Huffington mentions only her current job and nothing before 2005. Marissa Mayer keeps it short and simple as does Sheryl Sandberg.
Satya Nadella who claims to use LinkedIn for sharing ideas and info about Microsoft says little about his work but does talk about his interests.
But the poster child of brevity is Richard Branson whose 48 year career is summarized in one sentence – Tie-loathing adventurer and thrill seeker, who believes in turning ideas into reality. Otherwise known as Dr Yes at Virgin!
And the only skill he lists – Entrepreneurship.
For sure, there are many exceptions. Oprah can broadcast all her skills and still have our respect. Jack Welch’s brand of oratory will always get the world’s ear. And Deepak Chopra has four million more reasons to share all that he does.
So the question then is – should we all emulate the example and abbreviate our own achievements? Probably not.Yet.
But the fact remains, that for the rest of us wannabes, the barometer of our success, of having ‘truly arrived in the world’ will be when we don’t need to talk about it anymore.
Enough said.Tags: Personal Brand Professionals Profile