Good morning.

I came across an interesting set of videos this morning regarding IBM’s Black Professional Community. In the clip, the young woman mentions that our parents couldn’t teach us the nuances of navigating and etiquette of corporate life because they didn’t have the same advantages and experiences as we have today.

This video made me think. Is this true? Most likely it is. But that shouldn’t be an excuse. We all have to learn how to navigate in different situations throughout our life, social, professional and personal. Sometimes we have guides to help us along, sometimes we have to go it alone. But should we allow the fact that our parents had it “different” than us to be used as an excuse for not conducting ourselves or attempting to learn the rules properly? My parents were not entrepreneurs. I didn’t have any entrepreneurial “role models” per se. But I made it a point to be a continuous learner.

So give me your opinions on this comment. How should we navigate through Corporate America?

Til next time.

Adrienne Graham

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Do you really know how to use your social network? If you have hundreds of contacts but don’t use them for networking, then why do you have them? I always said it seems like a waste to just be “connected” to so many people and not cultivate relationship. I am very particular about who I allow in my network. Other than the obvious (having commonalities), the person and I should be able to effectively network for mutual benefit. I don’t just add people for the sake of adding and I don’t accept every invitation.

Before you set off to build this vast network, stop and think about what you want out of it. Be selective about who you link to and why. Don’t just accept any invitation. Find out about the person first and also tell them a little about yourself as well. Relationship building is the true power of Social Networking. As IBM says, stop talking, start doing!

Til next time.

Adrienne Graham