The Run Like Hell From List

Such a private thing it is to share this, but I have.

The idea of this post started when several months ago, a person who runs a professional networking organization here in the Valley stood me up just shortly before we were to meet. And when I saw her again, she wasn’t even embarrassed by it but just did the platitude thing of “we still gotta meet”. I BARELY managed to stop myself from rolling my eyes. (But maybe not!) The whole thing got me thinking about the people we choose to work with, and the people we should just avoid. And while it’s one thing to think of it, it’s another to write of it. But I did. Because, here’s the deal. I know that connections are what creates value in the #SocialEra.


Our network can make or break our success. None of us are creating value all by ourselves. We’re doing it with other people. And these people – or, network using the more technical term – in our lives shape who we are (by influencing what you think about), and what we make (by helping us get things done). Yet, it’s only through trial and error that we figure out who to choose to work with, and who to avoid. Here’s the start of the list:

  1. Distract-o-matic. Ever been with someone obsessively doing a check-in on FourSquare as you arrive, stops your lunch conversation to foodspot their meal, and the moment you say something just slightly longer than 140 characters, they surreptitiously check their mobile device under the table? These people are opting out of the present moment, and texting other people with the hopes of being perpetually entertained. Quick and connected might make for a good packager of an old idea, but highly distracted means you can’t work with them develop ideas. So, if you are trying to hone an original idea, maybe even a big idea, this is not the person to surround yourself by. That’s because big ideas take time and focused attention to develop. Big ideas need deep engagement to many people to become both better and bigger. But none of these attract a distracted person; he is already off and running to the next entertaining thing by then.

You can find the rest of the list, here, or in long form:

Please do add to the list…

(This is the first of my LinkedIn columns, where I plan on writing about career nuggets and such. Of course feel free to follow along there, or you can continue using as the hubspot for all content even if it first appeared at HBR, Wired, Fast Company or so on.)

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