Andrea Learned

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A Beautiful Leadership Platform

Photo by Voicu Horațiu on Unsplash

A few weeks ago, I wrote a post STRONGLY endorsing the book New Power: How Power Works in Our Hyperconnected World–and How to Make It Work for You.  I felt comfortable doing so even before I’d read it, based on an excerpt/article that included a graph on the transition from “old” to “new” power (I have since read the book and my feelings hold). My eye zeroed in on how the “sharing” step was where the book’s authors saw “the turning point” toward “new” power.

Ah… yes. This step is exactly where – in my own work – I’ve seen  leadership vistas open up, whole new ways of finding insights emerge, and opportunity and impact expanding ideas ramp up.

But, this sort of sharing needs a place from which to launch, and very few have bothered to build that sort of platform. This is short-sighted because, whether you’re an academic sharing new research, an early career change agent finding community, or an established executive amplifying an industry cause (like climate action!), those efforts will go (at least) ten times further WITH one. An existing leadership platform, that is.

Platforms Are Foundation

Like the image I used with this post, and in its most positive sense, a subway platform can be a place to mingle, to bump into new information and regularly interact and build connections with, masses of people you’d never come across in your small daily circle of life. As much as it’s a great place to land when you step down to the platform at your destination, it is also a fantastic jumping ON point for literal and figurative whole new worlds.

In my mind, having an at-the-ready platform makes sense for everyone. Yes, everyone. You need not see yourself as some sort of global business guru to realize its beauty and utility. In fact, I have a family member with decades of experience and miles of established industry wisdom who is only now being intentional about social leadership.

Though your gut may tell you: “who’d care what I have to say?”… the truth is that positive results from intentional Twitter use will be almost immediately noticeable. When you give others a way to find you, you’d be surprised by who does find real value in what you curate.

Platforms Are Transferable

Another misconception about social platform building is that you get stuck being known for whatever you are working on right now, with this particular employer or in this particular industry. But, the truth is that that trust and wisdom are transferable.  If you share interesting information, celebrate progress, highlight amazing people and make your curation truly about your passions in your work and life, you will be amazed at who will follow you from this thing to the next.

My own career started “pre-social” times, but I found that writing newsletters and then blog posts for the few online business publications that existed almost twenty years ago was the launch of my own platform building. It was a happy accident, for sure. But, as in my new favorite leadership book,  New Power, when I started authentically and strategically sharing, my career took hold. For the past almost ten years, I’ve served a growing audience that keeps me honest and gives great feedback about whether or not I am sharing what matters to them. (I will take this opportunity, here and now, to say THANK YOU!)

Platforms Reveal Opportunities

Finally, I still come across folks in marketing and sales roles in a wide range of industries who are not using Twitter for professional purposes. Maybe they are confused and think that social media platforms are only consumer-facing?  Well, that’s another stunning misconception. The Twitter platform is at its BEST as a B2B or non-consumer-facing space.

On Facebook or Instagram, the rule of thumb for sharing seems to be faster, flashier, and trendier. Blink and the fun or engagement is gone. In a space like that, no one will connect the dots from your name as an industry thought leader to your being their conference’s next speaker or a source-hungry journalist’s next informative connection.  Twitter (and LinkedIn, to a degree) are where things like that, and SO much more, are significantly more likely to occur.

My advice? Be a lot more productive with that little bit of social media time you allow yourself.

Twitter is the jumping on and off point for bigger picture and longer term connections, for collaborations and leadership opportunity development.  A business leader simply needs to be there, get comfortable and then contribute with intention.

Twitter is a beautiful, sturdy platform that sits quietly between trains, ready when you are to expand your career purpose and impact potential.


Helping clients see and use this incredible leadership platform for sustainability, climate action and social impact purposes is what I do.  Contact me if your leadership team is ready for this bounty of opportunity.