The Year Of Living Inspirationally

I checked my latest Instagram/Facebook picture post and one of the comments read: “You really should have your own reality show, Kevin.”

I smiled. KevTV, I thought. Nice ring to it. But no – the movies The Truman Show (1998) and Edtv (1999) and the onslaught of “real” reality TV shows since have turned me off to that prospect. Overexposure and exploitation now, as well before the “Twitters” really took off way back when, continue to raise the bar on offensive banality.

However, I’ll bet some folks who know me well, or not so, raised their eyebrows at my own brand of overly shared social banality (which is thankfully far from being offensive). That’s fine because each of us has the choice to change the channels, right?

Indeed. My latest socially shared channel of late was my own family “Disney” channel when we took our girls to Disneyland right after the New Year. And I shared picture after family picture after funny artsy picture after family picture. Hence the comment, “You really should have your own reality show, Kevin.”Disney Sisters

But that’s not why I do it. At least, not the primary reason. It’s not why I’ve had a fairly regular blog about personal leadership, responsible parenting, and domestic violence awareness called Get Off The Ground since 2007. It’s not why I’ve had my own “world of work” blog called Reach-West since 2010 (and it’s not why I had been blogging years before that with, since 2004 actually). And it’s not why I’m so excited to raise the bar on the recruiting experience in 2015 with PeopleFluent.

All these self-proclaimed accomplishments and accolades don’t mean I’m “Mister Fancy Pants early-adopter and thought leader” (my LinkedIn number from when I joined is over 1 million). Considering my first tweet was on May 11, 2008 – “I’m setting up my Twitter account and have no idea what to do next” – I’ve only wanted to connect, to share and more importantly, to learn before that and ever since.

Which is what led me to TalentCulture and #TChat way back when in 2010. Again, to connect, to share and to learn. Which is also why reminiscing this moment on the TalentCulture #TChat Show with Ted Coiné and Mark Babbitt, co-authors of A World Gone Social, was so poignant.

Two particular points they made in their Harvard Business Review article titled The 7 Attributes of CEOs Who Get Social Media resonated with me and inspired this piece. Not only for CEOs – for anyone in any leadership position – including leading the social “self,” what I feel is the most important position of all:

They Are Relentless Givers. They give back, they mentor, and they care about real social issues that have nothing to do with Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. They constantly share what they know, connect others and — often for no other reason than because it is the right thing to do — they do good.

They Lead with an OPEN Mindset. “OPEN” – short for Ordinary People, Extraordinary Network – means that no one person, even the highest-level leader, can have all the answers. Instead, we deliberately build personal relationships with those willing to help us discover the answers, together.

Combine that with what Jeanne Meister, author of The 20/20 Workplace, wrote recently, the fact that we’re all “digital citizens” today; it ain’t just the Millennials digging the social scene. And as a recent MIT Sloan research report showed, 57% of workers now consider “social business sophistication” to be an important factor when choosing an employer.

Each of us can and should be social leaders today in work and in life, relentless givers with an OPEN mindset, commiserating and celebrating with one another in collaboratively creative ways we’d never imagined, even way back in 1999. We should even demand it. That raises the bar on the beneficial.

Okay, but Disneyland? Hey, I like to be liked and I like to have fun with my immediate family and extended family and friends (online and off). That I will not deny. I’d argue that most of us do to some extent, but for me, it’s not contingent on how I choose to connect, to share and to learn. 2015 will be the year that the rest of the world finally starts to catch up with their own social mojo – we’ve already seen time and again how the world chooses and uses social to elevate, not denigrate. The TalentCulture #TChat community never fails to inspire.

And the reality is, I do think that this inspiration will make for a very good year.

About the Author: Kevin W. Grossman co-founded and co-hosts the highly popular weekly TalentCulture #TChat Show with Meghan M. Biro. He’s also currently the Product Marketing Director for Total Talent Acquisition products at PeopleFluent.

photo credit: hang_in_there via photopin cc