When you think of digital media, think a small table for two

Can anyone make a leap to surprising new heights of career and/or business success with a little help from digital media? In short, yes. This is just one of the core suggestions Erik Qualman writes about in his helpful book titled Digital Leader.

After I finished reading Digital Leader, I had the pleasure of exchanging a few words with Erik and he graciously agreed to conduct a quick interview for sneezr.ca.

1. Jenan: You and I have at least one thing in common: we both seem to believe that small changes can propel a person or an organization. Can you give us an example of a small but effective change from your book Digital Leader that a person could implement right away?

a. Write or text the two most important items you need to get done for the day in the morning. Don’t tackle anything else before you get these done. In other words don’t wake up roll over and grab you iPhone and iPad and start texting, tweeting and answering email.

b. Stop complaining. The average person complains 15-30 times per day. This is wasted energy and when you complain digitally it’s in ink, not pencil.

2. Jenan: Erik, with this book you want to help as many people as possible ensure that their “digital stamp,” their legacy as a human being, is positive (i.e. principled) and productive (i.e. has had a beneficial impact on the lives of others). Could you give us some example of people who are already doing this well?

Erik: Mark Cuban, Howard Schultz, Richard Branson, Mari Smith, Meg Garlinghouse, Jeff Weiner, Tony Hsieh, Tony Dungy.

3. Jenan: Stories are data with a soul. I really like how you use storytelling in Digital Leader. For example, you use analogies such as “digital footprint” (what one posts online) and “digital shadow” (what others upload).

Having said that, is the unintended goal of the book to promote a mental shift?
When we thing of the digital world, we should not think Mac or PC; Facebook or twitter.
When we think of the digital world, should we instead think: a small table for two?

Erik: Exactly – digital media is less about technology an more about personal relationships. You need to use these digital tools to augment, not replace, you offline connections.

Jenan: Thank you for your time and consideration Erik. All the best until next time!
Aug 15, 2012

P.S. Don’t be fooled by the title. The book is not directed solely at those whose professional titles may imply that they are “leaders” of an organization. This book is applicable to EVERYONE wanting to lead a more productive and satisfying life in this day and age.