Randy Siegel builds the people who build organizations.

Organizations hire Randy to transform high-potential employees into a new generation of leaders. Randy gives them the leadership and communications skills they need to rise through the organization.

CEOs hire Randy to help them become more charismatic leaders, spokespeople, and ambassadors for the organizations they serve.

His work is based upon a proprietary process that facilitates self-discovery to clarify personal perspective, true purpose, and professional image.

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It’s no surprise the workplace is a very different one than the one I entered in the late 1970s. For one, employees’ trust for their employers has never been so low. As a result, many employees feel they must take control of their own careers. According to research conducted by employee retention futurists and specialists The Herman Group workers are increasing demanding training, education, and career pathing.

Those companies who don’t provide these opportunities will find they will lose their best people, probably sooner than later. The Herman Group reports that a global survey of 4,500 workers showed more people hope to leave their jobs this year than last. In the 2006 BlessingWhite study, 65 percent said that they expected to “definitely” remain with their employers through the year. In the 2007 study, that number was down to 58 percent. Also of note, more respondents in 2007 said that there is "no way" they would stay (eight percent up from six percent---a 33 percent increase).

According to Christopher Rice, CEO of BlessingWhite, “They [the findings] may mean more people are taking control over their destiny and plan to do more to manage their career[s]."

Rice further cautions. "We find that top performers are the same worldwide. The best workers tend to be mobile in any economic situation. . . If management doesn’t provide employees with the opportunity to make a difference for the enterprise, engage in work that’s interesting or worthwhile, and pursue their personal development, these same individuals are going to take their knowledge and skills elsewhere."

This month, we’ll examine the Power of Social Networks.

The Power of Social Networks

"You've got mail!" Do you receive a slew of e-mails each week inviting you to join a social network, like If you are like I was, you immediately delete them thinking "Who has time?" or "I don't need more spam." About a month ago, I woke up and smelled the coffee.

Social networks are a wonderful way to build your professional brand, and in the future they'll become even more important. The sooner you jump in and get involved in social networking, the more connected you'll be five years from now - and the stronger your brand will be.

Here's how to get started:

Research which social network works for you. Find the network(s) that make most sense for you. I joined LinkedIn is currently the most "professional" network, garnering most of the Fortune 500 executives; if these people are your audience, that's where you should be. Ryze, while still professional, is a bit more "chatty"; it's somewhat easier to make new friends on Ryze, whereas on you're cultivating the offline connections you've already made. MySpace is best if your market is teens, and Bebo if you're marketing to Europeans. Facebook, which started as a site for college students, is rapidly becoming a world favorite.

Create a profile. Don't share details that are too personal; you're trying to attract business, not get a date. (There are other sites for dating. Trust me, I've been on most of them at one time or another.)

Start "making friends." Find the site functionality that allows you to search your address book to see which of your friends are already registered. Then, once they become contacts, review "their" contacts to find familiar names and faces and invite them to join your network. If you're diligent about checking in to see whom your friends have befriended, you can accumulate several friends each day. (Feel free to start off by befriending "me." Again, I am on

Get involved. Each of the networks has "groups" you can join to connect with people of similar interests. Dip into a few different groups to see what they're talking about. When you join a conversation, include your contact details so that potential clients can get in touch. Once you've surfed around, settle on two or three groups and contribute to them regularly. On some of the networks, such as LinkedIn, you can also position yourself as an expert by answering questions in your area of expertise. I haven't done this yet, but I plan to check it out.

Start your own group. Once you've got the hang of how groups work, you can start one of your own. Remember to set the group profile to open/global so that other people can join. Invite all your friends. Then send a message to everyone in the group asking them to invite all their friends. Once you have a critical mass, mention the group in other places: in posts to subscriber lists, in your e-mail signature, on your Web site, etc.

If you're new to all of this, these tips will get you started. If you're already a pro and have some successful strategies of your own, I'd love to hear from you. I'll share your ideas with the readers.


Copyright Randy Siegel 2007. All rights reserved.