By Neil Patrick
My good friend Dr Gary Sharpe at Blue Dog Scientific coined a term the other day in a conversation with me.
It was “Facebookisation”.
He didn’t need to explain what he meant. It’s the spread of trivial, egotistical, self-obsessive social media content creeping out of Facebook and into other and often mainstream media.
It’s the idea that we are all celebrities and should try and emulate them.
Except, most celebrities are hardly good role models at least in social media.
At first, I gave it little thought. It was a nice term though and I mentally filed it away for future use.
Then this morning I saw a Huffington Post newsfeed that Michelle Mone, new Tory peer, successful entrepreneur and founder of Ultimo had recieved a Twitter backlash for "bragging" that she’d been given a ministerial car and driver whilst on an assignment in connection with her unpaid work for the government. (she’s working pro bono on the DWP’s work on stimulating entrepreneurialism).
Apparently, Michelle or more likely her media team, quickly took the tweet down and tweeted this in her defence:
At a time when Jeremy Corbyn’s authentic voice and humble, consultative, non-ego-centric approach is drawing millions of supporters especially amongst the young, we have to question whether the “Look how rich and successful I am” approach to personal branding is really valid in the 21st century.
I suspect this approach just inflames the rage of those who rightly or wrongly feel that ‘the system’ has dumped them on the scrap heap. Does presenting ourselves and showing people how wealthy and successful we are really enable them to achieve amazing things with their own lives?
I'd argue it does not because the faulty premise is that all any of us need to succeed is motivation. And because that is free, we can all access it from within ourselves.
But the real barriers to success are not insufficient motivation. They are things like education, access to resources, contacts, creativity, innovation and know how. Without these things, no amount of self-belief and aspiration will deliver success.
The other key requirement is personal credibility.
Humility, empathy and modesty are in my opinion at the heart of personal credibility. Bragging, narcissism and displays of wealth, influence and success are not.
Even if they are presented with a big grin and 'motivational' message.