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Leaders trying to understand the role of social media in their professional lives

This post is for leaders that are trying to understand the role of social media in their professional lives.

As a lifelong learner and a technology leader in my 50's, the current environment of communications poses many challenges, as well as opportunities. It has never been harder, in my lifetime, to separate the wheat from the chaff.

However, I am convinced of one thing. It is at a leader's peril to not develop an understanding of and proficiency in social media. This is true for those in technology, education, manufacturing, non-profits, government - actually for everyone. It is not just career peril I refer to, it is organizational peril as well. We have only to look at the last couple presidential elections to see the results. Or the companies who are having more successful financial results. Or the non-for-profits that are achieving their strategic goals. A recent article the Nonprofit Quarterly’s Winter 2016 edition, “Social Media: The New Nonprofit Nonelective” reflects this.

But change is hard. And habits die hard. Many managers and leaders are at a place in their career where it is easier to lean on current strengths and write-off implementing improvements in leveraging operational databases, social media, inbound marketing and sales automation. They rationalize with reasons such as "it doesn't apply to our market" or "we never needed to do it before" or "or customers don't use it; why should we".

But change is happening anyway. So find ways to walk before you run, but start walking. My local community in Rochester, NY has a variety of seminars, professional associations and peer groups to support the journey, and to meet others that are in the same stage of learning. It is a pleasure to share and work with these professionals.

   Diane Trentini, VP Marketing and Sales at COMET

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