Lately I've been feeling very uneasy about being asked to write one of those LinkedIn "Recommendations" on behalf of an associate. I think LinkedIn is an incredibly wonderful and powerful tool and use it often - can't imaging my professional world without it, in fact. Yet when someone asks me to write a "recommendation" for him/her on LinkedIn, I'm sorry to say, my friends, I do not want to participate. Personally, I think these reccos are stupid because they don't say anything real or genuine. It's just one big beauty pageant exercise and it offers no value because everyone follows the same protocol: get one of your best business friends to say something really nice about you, have them post it to LI, and presto, you're a Business Star! (A REAL recco is when people get on the phone and exchange specific information and CONTEXT about the candidate regarding the specificity of the role for which he/she is interviewing.)
Even though I realize we're all supposed to smartly promote ourselves online through various platforms and resources like LI, this "recco" exercise is akin to writing in someone's yearbook, and I think we're a little too old for that. I've done a few of these in the past for some folks, yet never felt comfortable and would write comments like, "Ed's a great guy, but if you really want to know the good stuff about him, just pick up the phone and give me a call." (Crickets.) That tells me I'm just honestly sharing here what you agree with: this feature wastes space and time. Now, I just won't go there anymore.
To all my peeps who actually DO want me to participate in advancing their careers, just call me and tell me who I can call on your behalf, and I will contact that person and frame your story in a magnificent, germane, and powerful way. There's a lot that technology can't replace...let's get on the phones, folks!
Michael Hess is the Founder/Principal of Core 6 Management Advisors. Drawing on almost 3 decades of experience in Sales and Management, Michael shares his thoughts and opinions here for you.