Chris Brogan and the Spirit of Helping in Social Media

palmWho could not love Chris Brogan? He looks like some tough guy, and he turns out to be sweet as pie. He’s been doing some video blogs the past few days on his “Overnight Success,” mostly it seems, to prove the point that it’s not all that glamorous, and that his fame in the social media arena certainly didn’t happen overnight. In his Part 2 video, he opens shooting down from his hotel balcony to the pool below, surrounded by palm trees and lounge chairs. Then he shows us around his room, explaining how it’s not a big vacation, but is actually where he gets a lot of work done. “It ain’t all pretty,” he says, “This is where it all gets done. It’s just doing what needs doing.” (One of my favorite parts is when he’s swooping the camera around to show his laptop on the hotel room desk and pans by a row of miniature Maker’s Mark bottles lined up neatly in arm’s reach of the computer.)

What I really love about his Overnight Success, Part Deux, is Brogan’s ernest plea that we all reach out and help other people. This willingness to help seems to me the most powerful undercurrent in the social media world right now, and it’s a far cry from the business attitudes that were prevalent in the early part of my career, back in the 80s and 90s.

That makes me wonder if some of this might be the influence of Millennials in the workplace. The under-30 crowd offers a much less selfish approach to business, and they believe they can change the world, starting right now. When people my age were coming along, nobody was talking about win-win. We believed if one person one, someone else necessarily lost. Us Boomers also assumed we had to pay our dues before we could have much of an impact. These Gen Y kids seem to believe they’re ready to be the CEO from day one. I like that about them.

In fact, that attitude of doing it right now is another part of Brogan’s hotel room rant. He urges his viewers to take action, to quit talking and get in the game, to get some projects out there in the world. He says, “Let’s help people. Let’s lift each other up.”

What’s not to love about that?

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