Leadership and New World of Work: #TChat Preview

Written by Matt Charney, Originally posted on

Leadership is one of those soft skills, like “excellent communicator” or “team player,” which lies, almost exclusively, as it were, in the eyes of the beholder.  Simply defining the term, and its impact on organizations, is an inherently subjective exercise.

After all, we like leaders who like us, and we’re attracted to leaders who are like us.  So therein lies one of the biggest dilemmas of discussing leadership: leaders are defined not by their actions, but by the perceptions of those their actions effect.

And for leaders, the act of managing these often competing perceptions, public and personal, while building consensus, often detracts from or eliminates their ability to effectively, well, lead.

In today’s world of work, this need to manage perception and brand, both personal and professional, has led to a veritable cottage industry of consultants and gurus, training programs and certifications devoted to leadership theory, practice and development.

But ultimately, leadership isn’t a product that can be sold; it’s a characteristic that must be earned.  And the leaders of today face unique challenges, struggling with a widespread lack of confidence by investors and employees, besieged with the twin burdens of internal expectations and external scrutiny.

Throw emerging technologies into the mix and it becomes clear that the more visible a leader becomes, the larger a target they become for the slings and arrows of social media, barbs from bloggers and digs from disgruntled employees.

To combat this, there seems to be an increasing trend to transform company culture into, effectively, a cult of personality.  This means many leaders today are more preoccupied with lapping up the limelight and crowd sourcing for consensus than making tough, often unpopular decisions that, while benefiting their business, might come at the expense of their personal brands.

As the two become increasingly inextricable, however, this obviously becomes a difficult, if not impossible, decision to make.  But as we learned in high school, leadership isn’t a popularity contest.

Having the courage to stand up and make the kind of imperative decisions that may well be decidedly unpopular, which, as we also learned in high school, is often what happens when one makes the right choice, is the toughest, and most important, test any leader can face.

#TChat Questions & Recommended Reading (09.21.11)

We hope you can join us Wednesday, September 21 at 7-8 PM ET as we go beyond the buzzwords to explore the ways that dynamic changes in technology, the economy and, most importantly, expectations affect not only leaders, but the organizations, and employees, they lead.

Here’s a preview of the questions we’ll be discussing, along with some recommended reading that, while not mandatory, should help prepare – and inform – your involvement in this week’s #TChat conversation: “The Evolution of Management: Leadership and the New World of Work.”

Q1)      What role do leaders play in driving innovation?  Collaboration?

Read: How Collaborative Leadership Sparks Competitive Advantage by Kevin W. Grossman

Q2)      What makes someone a “leader?”  Is this a matter of role/responsibility or perception?

Read: Why Leadership is Not A Bullet Point by David Ginchansky

Q3)      Which matters most for leaders: education, experience or emotional intelligence?

Read: Leading With the Heart – And A Dash of Emotional Intelligence by Meghan M. Biro

Q4)      What can organizations do better to hire and develop future leaders?

Read: The 5 Tools of Leadership Excellence: Spotting & Screening Future Leaders by Dr. Daniel Crosby

Q5)      What role does social media and technology play in determining leadership efficacy?

Read: Should Leaders Embrace Social Media? by China Gorman

Q6)      How is leadership evolving, if at all?  What does the future of leadership look like in 5 years?  10?

Read: And the Young Will Lead: Management Skills for Gen Y & Millennials by Malcolm Fleschner


We’ll be joining the conversation at our new time this Wednesday night as co-hosts with Meghan M. Biro and Kevin W. Grossman from 7-8 p.m. (Eastern) via @MonsterCareers and @Monster_Works.

Social Media Influence The AAA Rating

The only reason one has influence over another is because another acknowledges it, recognizes the existence of it.

But even that’s not enough. One has to be actualized, to be made real, again and again, along with being acknowledged. Once those two things occur, then the virtal nature of peer networks accelerates the growth of one’s influence. And that acceleration is what drives social influence over time, especially online in the realm of social networks today.

That’s what I call the triple AAA rating of social media influence. Social media influence can wield extensive power if it’s AAA, but it doesn’t mean there’s expertise. For that matter, expertise doesn’t always wield social influence. However, if you write and share a lot online about X, Y and/or Z, and it’s acknowledged and actualized as such, it generates influence.

Expert, novice, crazy or crackpot — social media influence makes for popularity that rules the roost. But again, if I don’t acknowledge it, you’re not influential. To me anyway.

According to John Sumser, influential analyst of HR technology market strategy and purveyor of the online algorithm-generated influencer lists, one way of thinking about influence is that the only place influence matters is within your network. Completely agree — your network that recognizes and makes real your influence.

Now, there are many services that attempt to quantify (and qualify) your social influence — Klout, Twylah, Traackr, TwentyFeet, Peer Index, SocialIQ, Booshaka…

Booshaka? Really?

Anyway, these social influence ranking tools can generate quite a negative, visceral reaction with folks, that they’re stupid, inaccurate tools that measure quantity, not quality. But I’d argue that these tools will come and go, and that we’re always going to try to measure stuff and online rank (think search engine page ranks), but your true triple AAA social influence as defined and promoted by your human counterparts is what rocks the world, not an algorithm.

Remember, your peers do influence your #Klout score. It ain’t all robots.

I agree with my #TChat co-creator, Meghan M. Biro: Social influence can be harnessed for the greater good of the community & the workplace. It takes time and quality leadership. Sadly, it can also be harnessed for the great bad when you speak with a forked tongue to offend and stoke caustic fires.

Be a triple AAA for the greater good. That’s the social influence I acknowledge and actualize.

Thank you again for being a part of our TalentCulture #TChat community. The greatest social influence on us is you. Really. Otherwise Meghan and I wouldn’t be here. Thank you.

You can read Crystal Miller‘s precap here and here were the questions from last night:

Q1. What does “influence” mean to you? Does it matter?

Q2. What goes into creating influence? How does one become ‘influential?’

Q3. What are some of the most significant ways “influence” impacts the world of work?

Q4. Are there any potential downsides or landmines associated with having influence?

Q5. Do current tools like Klout accurately reflect influence?  Can “influence” be quantified in the first place?

Q6. What impact does social media and emerging technologies have on our perceptions of influence or influencing our behaviors?

The #TChat Twitter chat and #TChat Radio are created and hosted by @MeghanMBiro @KevinWGrossman and powered by our friends and partners @TalentCulture @Monster_WORKS @MonsterCareers @HRmarketer and of course @Focus.

The World of Work for New Grads: #TChat Preview

Originally posted by Charles Purdy, one of #TChat’s moderators, on Monster Thinking Blog

It’s not just that many recent grads are new to the world of work — it’s also that the world of work has changed quite a lot in recent years. The tumultuous economy, fast-changing technologies, and the social-media revolution (just to name a few factors) have made the workplace 2011′s grads are entering a very different place from the one 2oo1′s experienced.

Of course, many of the questions new grads face — such as “Should I follow my passions or work on finding a stable career?” “What mistakes should I beware of?” and even “Was my four-year degree really necessary?” — aren’t questions that only young people ask. We’re all dealing with these questions to some extent.

If you’re a new or recent grad looking for answers, a job seeker with questions about the new world of work, or anyone who has career wisdom to share, join #TChat tonight at 8 p.m. Eastern (5 p.m. Pacific). This is sure to be a lively discussion!

#TChat Questions and Recommended Reading (06.07.11)

Here are tonight’s questions, along with some posts on emerging workforce issues we think are worth checking out.  This background reading isn’t mandatory to get in on tonight’s #TChat action, but we suggest checking out these articles by top career-advice and talent-management thought leaders before the chat (or if you missed it):

Q1: Should 2011’s new grads follow their passions, or focus on finding a stable career?

Read: How to Find Your Calling: Lessons from Larry Crowne by Monster College

Q2: What rookie mistakes are new grads in danger of making in the workplace?

Read: The Worst Career Advice Continually Given to College Seniors by Emily Bennington

Q3: What are some tactics a new grad needs to employ in a troubled employment market?

Read: Job Search Tips for New Grads: Standing Out From the Growd by Charles Purdy

Q4: Do you think a four-year degree (at least) is necessary for career security?

Read: Should You Go Back To School? by Jacob Milner

Q5: What makes this generation of young workers different from those of 20 years ago?

Read: Workplace Entitlement? C’mon, Mom Told Us All We Were Special by Kevin Grossman

Q6: How do you think this decade’s crop of new grads will transform the workplace?

Read: The Non-Generational Talent of American Workers by Peter Weddle

Q7: What’s the best piece of career advice new grads need to hear right now?

Read: Recession Job-Search Tips for New Grads by Margot Carmichael Lester

Monster’s social media team supports #TChat’s mission of sharing “ideas to help your business and your career accelerate — the right people, the right ideas, at the right time.”

We’ll be joining the conversation every Tuesday night as co-hosts with Meghan M. Biro and Kevin W. Grossman from 8-9 p.m. (Eastern) via @MonsterCareers and @Monster_Works.

Live from #TRULondon – Recruiting: Power of Global People Connectivity

I’m at the TruLondon unconference this week, meeting with people from all over the world – from companies and people discussing the social aspects of leadership, recruiting and HR, we’re learning and sharing stories about using the power of social media to make connections with job seekers and recruiting companies.

London is a creative and vibrant city and the TruLondon unconference, hosted by my friend Bill Boorman and their sponsor JobSite is an amazing venue – no powerpoints, lots of Tweeting and more like a long coffee/wine break with friends than a sit-down-take-notes conference. My kind of conference for certain. It is here where innovation has room to breathe and develop into new ideas.

As I listen to Bill and the other conference friends and attendees one fact remains: We’ve been on a career/workplace/media innovation roller coaster these past several months. Job satisfaction started 2010 at 45 percent negative and plunged to 80+ percent negative by December.

The job market tried to pull out of its dive but failed, despite the government’s recent attempts to redefine the meaning of ‘long-term unemployed’. Companies that weren’t hanging by a thread were socking away cash, holding off on hiring and waiting for signals that the nation was on more certain economic footing. All of us here are ready to say ‘done with that’ and are hoping – and talking about -how to make these times truly count for our recruiting clients and social communities.

What has changed that we can take into the next few months with lighter hearts? I looked back at our recent TalentCulture TChat– my new tea-leaves – for cues, and have distilled my thoughts from TRULondon so far as well. Here’s what stood out to me:

  • The influence of social media on the workplace, hiring trends and corporate brands is huge and will continue to grow. Smart employer brands realized they needed to use social media as both a recruitment and retention tool, as well as a way to take the temperature of the workplace and the larger market. Cheers to social media.
  • Innovation is en vogue again. You know I love hearing affirmation of this. It’s early days yet but I predict that workplaces that invested in developing an authentic culture brand and employee experience will start to see the payoff in innovation.
  • Risk is still significant that ‘stuck’ workplaces will lose their star team players, and maybe even the B team as well. By ‘stuck’ I mean the companies lead by the out-of-touch – the people who are afraid to clue into their emotional intelligence, afraid to change and ease up a bit on employees. The change here is that emotional intelligence is on the rise, and companies that invest in building it into the workplace will come out of the gate in better shape than competitors.
  • More companies will go virtual (and we will be recruiting for these skills) as a way to lighten the load on stressed employees, worn down from years of no raises or pay cuts or layoffs. Managing these highly-mobile, virtual workplaces takes a sure hand and a light touch. Finding ways to be successful with mobile, virtual workforces will be a key leadership/recruiting/HR skill. Note: Our next #TChat topic is Managing virtual teams and dispersed global organizations while maintaining workplace culture.  Is it possible?
  • It’s a new world of recruiting indeed, thanks to Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook et al. Today’s recruiters work mainly in 140-character bursts, and resumes are distilled into keywords and links. I’m spending time reviewing innovation in this space and it’s really very cool and exciting. It’s safe to say that LinkedIn remains the most widely utilized sourcing tool for recruiters to date from this list.
  • The notion of leadership is re-emerging. Too many erstwhile leaders have been hunkered down behind closed doors. It’s time to re-invest in building a culture of leadership, one that is inclusive and broad.
  • Culture is the new workplace must-have. Go figure. Cultures of Talent loom large. Authenticity, brand, stickiness, innovation and inspiration must come through in your workplace culture. Connect and humanize your employees with your brand and watch culture bloom.

What say you? Are you expecting more of the same or actively engaged with companies and job seekers bubbling with innovation, workplace culture and passion for doing a great job now? Love to hear your thoughts.

Join @TalentCulture: #TChat on Tuesday

Sure there are a lot of Twitter Chats you could participate in.

But there isn’t one that I’m aware of that intersects Talent + Culture, where you’ll find:

  • People who are inspired by incredible individuals driving organizations and creating dramatic change.
  • Brands that are humanizing themselves as layers of hierarchy yield to emotionally-connected leaders.
  • Innovative expertise which catalyzes transformational growth online and in real life.

At the intersection of Talent + Culture, you’re all welcomed for your like-mindedness and celebrated for your unique thinking.

At the intersection of Talent + Culture, you’re all right here.

Our community.  Your community.  The TalentCulture Community.

We welcome you all to join us for our new Twitter Chat called #TChat.  The first one will be this Tuesday, November 16, from 8:00 – 9:00 p.m. ET where we’re going to discuss Emotional Intelligence and the importance of assessing it and developing it, which for us, is everything that makes a best place to work – the best talent (people) and the best workplace culture.

Discussing the intersection of Talent and Culture.  We consider all the things that make a best place to work, individual career growth, and social community development — ideas to help your business and your career accelerate – the right people, the right ideas, at the right time.  This includes all areas of HR, recruiting, career coaching, training and development, leadership development, product/service development, business development, ideation, marketing, social media, and much more.  We also explore engagement, creativity, innovation and collaboration between businesses, employees, and social communities.  It’s an open forum, so anyone interested is welcome.  Be ready for a lively discussion and bring your best place to work ideas!

Based on recent research, the difference between those who reach their full potential in the workplace and in life, and those who do not, is their degree of emotional intelligence (EI), or “people skills”.

These people skills (your EI) encompass:

  • An awareness of your own emotions,
  • An awareness of emotions in others,
  • An understanding of these emotions,
  • And the ability to manage your own emotions and the emotions of others.

However, according to recent research, 75% of the reasons careers get derailed are EI-related:

  • Unsatisfactory leadership across all levels during challenging times.
  • Inability to handle interpersonal issues.
  • Inability to adapt to change.
  • Inability to elicit trust.

Without question, successful leaders to individual contributors must possess business acumen along with industry knowledge and organizational insight. But the quality that separates the most successful leaders from their peers is emotional intelligence—the ability to understand, manage and respond effectively to one’s own emotions and the emotions of others.

In fact, research has confirmed that emotionally intelligent employees and leaders are indeed more successful than their less emotionally intelligent peers.  So are their companies.

At PepsiCo, for example, executives identified as emotionally intelligent generated 10% more productivity and added nearly $4 million in economic value; for Sheraton, an emotional intelligence initiative helped increase the company’s market share by 24%.

Please join us to share your questions and commentary about assessing and developing Emotional Intelligence.

What’s your role in the TalentCulture Community?

  • Sharing your real world expertise and candid perspectives.
  • Actively participating with others in expanding the depth and breadth of your reach.
  • Contributing as much as you benefit.

Join us for #TChat on Twitter every Tuesday from 8:00-9:00p.m. ET.  We’ll be posting a calendar of topics soon. Our live chat will be hosted by @KevinWGrossman @MeghanMBiro and @TalentCulture. Please Tweet or DM us for more scoop.