Please stop telling me how great you are….

If you are as great as you say I will figure it out on my own.

When I saw this great ca

rtoon from Rob Cottingham I had to share it. While talented as a cartoonist he also understands the power of collaboration and social media so please check out his site if you have time.

Too many people look at social media as a tool to blast out messages and fail to understand that these tools are not simply about communication, they are channels within and across which you need to build relationships. Several people have demonstrated a clear understanding of what is needed in the last couple of days and I wanted to point these out:

Last night I had the pleasure of attending the Monday Night Football game between the New England Patriots and New York Jets. At half-time Tedy Bruschi was honored for his thirteen years playing football for the Patriots. His short speech left me with one of the finest examples of what it means to be relationship focused, to think of others above yourself. As he pointed towards the three Super Bowl banners hanging in the Stadium he told the crowd:

“When you look at those banners marking those teams I want you to think of Troy Brown, Kevin Faulk, Joe Andruzzi, Ty Law, Lawyer Milloy, Rodney Harrison, Willie McGinest, Mike Vrabel, Ted Johnson, Larry Izzo, Richard Seymour and so many more…”

The focus of those that understand is rarely on themselves. Their teammates, their customers, their citizens, are what matters to the true greats. What matters to you?


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Stephen Peteritas

I completely agree. Talking about how awesome something is isn’t awesome. It’s the actual doing of the project. Good post John.

Scott Burns

Great book called Naked Conversations that talked about this a few years back. Also, brings back the Clue Train Manifesto. Mission & Results matter. Everything else is B.S. It is important to remember social media can be used for different purposes for an organization.

For example, in addition to being collaborative channels, social media channels are also places where people are and where people search. If CDC posts a video on vaccinations to YouTube, Twitter, & Facebook, but does not interact, they are still adding value by getting their content to people where they are. If someone searches on “vaccinations” there is some value to seeing that CDC video instead of a chiropractor talking about how kids should skip their chicken pox vaccination based on false science. It might not be as far as they could go, but it’s something.

Tom Bullington

Absolutely! Anyone can talk about themselves endlessly, but there are few who have truly mastered the art of drawing positive attention to oneself without being seen as self-absorbed, especially on twitter. The true value of what you offer a prospective client comes from the intangibles you offer them (advice, experience, honesty, trust) rather than the product itself. It’s all about finding ways that separate you from your competitors, and that has much to do with how people view you as a person.

Scott Burns

Just re-posted on our internal blog with this summary:
Better to be awesome and contribute than to be average and promote.

Lauren Modeen

Nice post, John. And great example from Tedy Bruschi. Those that are truly the greatest contribute-rs don’t need to ceaselessly talk about it. Their work speaks for itself, and even when they do have a moment to shine, they take the moment to shine the light on others, reinforcing exactly what they are doing right from the beginning.

Lauren Modeen

One more note: reminds me of the difference between walking by a landmark such as Times Square vs., say, the Brooklyn Bridge, the White House, or the Great Wall of China (take your pick).

Avatar photo Bill Brantley

Best piece of advice from a really great boss: “you are only as good as your last successful project.”
Second best piece of advice: “Fail forward.”

Jenyfer Johnson

My former supervisor, an old retired AF SMSgt, once told me that if his people looked good and accomplished great things, then that made him look good. So he was always putting us in for awards, pushing us to speak at conferences and syposiums, touting our achievements at meetings and had our backs when our programs were “threatened”. HE bragged on our achievements, and in turn it made him look like a better supervisor!

Andrew Krzmarzick

The longer I live, the more I realize that everything I have accomplished and any advancement I have made professionally or personally is not because of my own efforts, but because I was surrounded by amazing people. AND each of us is essentially a composite of the people with whom we spend our time.

I am nothing. WE are everything.