Note: This is the third post in a series reviewing The Start-Up of You: Adapt to the Future, Invest in Yourself, and Transform Your Career by Reid Hoffman and Ben Casnocha
I'm concluding this series with my perspectives on the common criticisms of the book:
* The book is a 270+ page LinkedIn advertisement
* Too many success stories about Silicon Valley technology entrepreneurs (versus examples from other professions)
* Really! Another Sheryl Sandberg Success Story
The Start-Up of You Reveals How To Use LinkedIn for Personal Competitive Advantage
A Far Different Value Proposition Than an Advertisement. Wade Roush published this review in Xconomy, LinkedIn: The Missing Manual Worth Reading. He describes The Start-Up of You as:
"a guide to the mindset you need to adopt if you want to make successful use of LinkedIn."
That's a Fair Statement. The Start-Up of You bridges the gap for customizing and optimizing your LinkedIn usage beyond copying/pasting your resume into the profile template.
A 100% complete LinkedIn Profile is the bare bones minimum for competing in today's job market.
On The Start-Up of You website, Hoffman and Casnocha provide free content on advanced tips for using LinkedIn. Here are a few of these helpful suggestions:
- Adding descriptive tags to your connections so it's easier to identify people with specific expertise
- Benchmarking your personal skills by reviewing the profiles of your connections at other companies
- Studying LinkedIn Company Pages to understand the skills of their new hires
LinkedIn Novices Versus Power Users. Deep Nishar, LinkedIn's Senior Vice President of Product, described the difference between LinkedIn's Novice Users and Power Users in a December 2011 Fast Company article:
"The novice users of LinkedIn use it to find a job. The power users of LinkedIn use it to manage their careers."
Here are a few ways to differentiate your LinkedIn profile or manage your career using key features:
- LinkedIn Answers: Building a Reputation as an Authority or Subject Matter Expert
- LinkedIn Answers: Submitting Differentiating Responses
- LinkedIn Today: Staying On Top of Industry Issues / Events
- LinkedIn InMaps: Visualizing Your Professional Connection as Networked Clusters
12 Examples of Non-Technology, Non-Silicon Valley Success Stories From The Start-Up of You
Each of these examples provides several pages or a few sentences to explain a key principle. Either way, they demonstrate how the book's principles extend beyond Silicon Valley and the technology industry.
- James R. Gaines (Chapter 3: When to Pivot - To Pursue Upside or Avoid Downside)
- Mary Sue Milliken (Chapter 4: Professional Allies)
- Susan Feniger (Chapter 4: Professional Allies)
- Benjamin Franklin (Chapter 5: Connect to Human Networks - Groups and Associations of People)
- Paul Harris (Chapter 5: Connect to Human Networks - Groups and Associations of People)
- "Iris Wong" (Chapter 7: How to Pull Intelligence From Your Network)
- Eric Barker (Chapter 5: Do The Hustle - Be Resilient: When the Naysayers are Loud Turn Up the Music)
- Joi Ito (Chapter 2: Your Assets)
- Howard Schultz (Chapter 2: The Market Realities)
- Tony Blair (Chapter 3: Adaptive Careers, Adaptive Start-Ups)
- Ron Howard and Brian Grazer (Chapter 4: Professional Allies)
- George Clooney (Chapter 5: Introductory Section of Pursue Breakout Opportunities)
There's No Such Thing As Too Much Sheryl Sandberg
I'm The Father of Two Daughters. And, I think Sheryl Sandberg's a tremendous role model for young women. She's an influential Silicon Valley power player and important business leader. I love her personal mission to convince more women to pursue technology careers, target the C-Suite, and adopt the attitude to:
- Sit at The Table (e.g., the Executive Table)
- Make Your Partner a Real Partner
- Don't Leave Before You Leave (e.g., starting a family doesn't equal ending your professional career)
What Father Wouldn't Want His Daughter(s) To Professionally Succeed? I admire how Sandberg "picked herself" to bring more attention to advancing women in business leadership. That takes guts because she's received criticism for taking on this role (see articles below).
But, she sticks with it. And, I crave to see more. Here's more inspiration about the brains, resourcefulness, and chutzpah of Sheryl Sandberg:
This concludes my blog post series on why The Start-Up of You is an important book in career management and leadership.
Buy This Book. Don't miss out on a great personal and professional opportunity.
The global economy will continue to challenge and influence our respective professional prospects and choices for several years.
And, the timely advice to invest in yourself, invest in your network, and invest in society couldn't come at a better time.