OK.  Admit it.  Who hasn’t googled an Ex?

The world is wide open now to find out the good, the bad and the ugly.  About our work lives and our personal lives.  About our likes and our dislikes.  This social openness is transforming the world. 

Transparency.  Consider everything you post as public domain.  So be thoughtful.  Looking for a new job?  Make sure your bios and profiles are up-to-date.  Professional photos count.  Grammar and spelling count.  The words you choose count.

Branding.  You can control what people see and create your our own personal brand.  Whether it be free-wheeling or conservative.  Whimsical or staid.  Dumb or intelligent.  Don’t be mistaken, people can read between the lines and get a feeling of who you are.  Every post, every photo, every tweet counts.

What do people think of when they think of you?

Back to my Ex.  Actually she’s a college girlfriend from over 20 years ago.  I have great memories of her.  She had an altruistic side and was very endearing.  Smart, driven and went to Harvard Business School.  Then started a dot com, to Ebay and now Google.  I admire what she’s accomplished in her career.  She knows internet technology and is a master marketer.  Here’s what I learned from googling her.

• Less is more.  Quality trumps quantity every time.
• Promote a professional image.  You never know who is viewing.
• Who you associate with matters.  People. Companies. Communities.
• Make friends with smart people in high places.
• Be open, yet selective.
• Share great insights.

Here’s an article about her in Fortune Magazine:  http://bit.ly/dasBim 
She lists 12 insights – lessons learned in her career.  I especially like #2, #4, #12.

1.  Hire the best talent.  Surround yourself with smarter people who have complementary skills and who challenge the status quo.

2.  Think big. Develop BHAGs:  Big Hairy Audacious Goals.  Imagine the impossible and you will be surprised how much you can accomplish.

3.  Aim to make a difference.  Make the world a better place.

4.  Say what you mean and do what you say.  Execution and follow-through are critical.  Thomas Edison said “Genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration.”  My father used to always remind me of this.

5.  Competition makes you stronger.  It also makes you serve your customers better.

6.  Always put the customer first.  And remember, you have to have a great product or service that is differentiated to win.

7.  Take on the hardest challenges.  Get out of your comfort zone.  If you have not failed at something, you are probably not innovating.

8.  Truth-seeking is half the battle in winning.  You need to know where you stand in the war.

9.  Move fast in a land-grab.  Get network effects first.  Remember, you need both popularity and profitability.

10.  You can be an entrepreneur in a big company.

11.  Pay it forward.  Be a mentor.

12.  If you make a mistake or fail, it’s OK. Fix it fast and move forward. But make sure to take the lessons away so you do not repeat them. Einstein said, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

Way to go, Steph!  Next time you’re in New York, look me up!

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