Over New Years you can be inundated with lists. Top grossing films is one of my favorites (Toy Story 3!). The front headlines highlighted an interesting number one – facebook outpaced google for number one website, as determined by number of visits to the site.
The article interpreted this data as meaning that we are now more “social” than data seeking. Is that true? It seems to me that the rise of facebook is more from access now to people, well, like me. Facebook is everywhere. Not only in social situations – such as your or my personal page where it acts as a reunion of sorts, connecting me with people I haven’t thought of in years – but it has become a corporate must have. Every company, divisions within companies, stores, outlets, doctors, lawyers, hairdressers, leadership advocates – they are all on facebook. Radio stations drive listeners to their pages, bribing them to become their friends. I would too, but nobody has given me passes to concerts in a while.
Is this social connectivity?
It is really just another medium for business connectivity. Is there no distinction anymore between those two? Sure, leaders have always leveraged personal connections for business purposes. But I like to think there was an awareness that that was occurring. Seems today there is no line between the two.
So what? You say. Well, if there’s no line for me between my “friends” and my “business prospects” then my life is necessarily all about business. There is no more personal/professional divide. And don’t think for a second that because we call them “friends” that it is the personal side winning out. No, quite the opposite. Our lives are becoming more and more professional. Everything is about the end game. We create goals for ourselves, our children, our families that have nothing to do with growth and everything to do with achievement.
I am certainly one of the offenders. My competitive spirit compels me to direct you to my facebook page (www.facebook.c om/Jewishleadership) as I am constantly pushing for more friends and “likes” (almost at 250!). I just finished the first round of discussions with my teenagers about their summer internship plans. Resume building is the catch phrase of the day.
But we need to stop.
Let’s place our priority back on maintaining a healthy distinction between friends and business.
Leadership Lesson: A friend is not someone I happen to link to by virtue of the sheer recognition of their name. Friends are so much more: people – not type – who will share time with you, lend a helping hand, hold a mirror to your missteps, debate and discuss issues with you. Don’t let facebook tell you otherwise.