Guest

Living with the Pregnant Widow

By: Guest | January 17, 2011 | 
131

Les McKeown is president and CEO of Predictable Success and occasional champion when playing Gini Dietrich in Words with Friends.

The Russian poet Alexander Herzen wrote that after a revolution we are left with “not an heir, but a pregnant widow…a long night of chaos” in which the old is gone but the new has not yet arrived.

Hello, I’m your client. Nice to meet you.

Um…thanks, that’s kind of you, but no, I don’t need another book, article, blog post, case study or tweet to help me understand that marketing, advertising, PR, and everything else associated with it has been revolutionized by social media in recent years. I get it. Despite the unflattering little stories I see you tell each other about us clients, I’m not a complete doofus.

What do I want?

I want whatever’s next, baby. You’re the one who’s flogging this ‘social media revolution’ stuff, so give it to me. And by the way, I don’t want any crud. I want the good stuff, the top shelf stuff, the really powerful stuff. I want stuff that is a better-faster-stronger version of the old stuff I had before you took it all away from me. Gimme.

You want me to do what now? Send lots of tiny little messages. I see. And I put what in them? Useful information. Got it. And be what? Engaging… OK. I can get somebody to do engaging. What else? Links? What sort of links? Oh, useful links. OK, I’ve got that. We’ll do the tiny messages with information and links. I’m on it.

Seems kinda lame though. C’mon, I need you to reach here – what else ya got? The what? The Face Book. And that does…? Oh, I see … longer messages. With pictures. And we can put links in there too? Awesome. What else? Be engaging. I’ll just tick that twice then, shall I? What else with The Face Book? Be authentic. OK. I didn’t know I wasn’t, but if you say so.

Hold on…just thinking here…be engaging and authentic on The Face Book about what, exactly? I see. Useful information. OK, got it. And the links too – I’m guessing – they should be engaging and authentic as well? And useful – dammit you got me – how’d I forget that one? Why don’t I just underline ‘engaging authentic useful’ and ‘links’ twice with this sharpie?

All right. I have the tiny little messages and The Face Book. I’m ready for the big one…

Why’re you hesitating? Don’t hold back on me now – there’s got to be more than this. Given all the stuff you’ve told me to stop doing, there better be more than this.

You want me to do what? Sorry, you’re speaking so low I couldn’t hear you. Inked in? Ink in what? You mean ink in with my sharpie? Oh…’Linked In’. I see. You mean that job search place that people keep sending me those annoying little invites to? I’m already on there, I think. Haven’t checked in there for oh…coupla years at least.

What do you want me to put on there? Useful infor…. Hold on, I think I see where this is going. I’ll just underline  ‘engaging authentic useful’ and ‘links’ with my sharpie one more time, shall I?

Gosh, is that the time? You know, I completely forgot – I have an urgent appointment with my dentist for root canal work. Can’t miss that, huh? Really gotta rush. This has been…great. No seriously. Really eye-opening.

You got anything else before I leave?

Les McKeown is president and CEO of Predictable Success, the leading advisor on accelerated business growth. He is the author of the Wall Street Journal and USA Today best-seller “Predictable Success: Getting Your Organization On the Growth Track – and Keeping It There.”

Spin Sucks in Your Inbox

Leave a Reply

131 Comments on "Living with the Pregnant Widow"

avatar

Sort by:   newest | oldest
lisarobbinyoung
lisarobbinyoung
5 years 5 months ago

You said “doofus” – bonus points! Heh heh.

Les is so good at saying what other people are thinking and NOT saying – or at least not saying very loudly at times. But even a pregnant widow has a timeline for delivery. We’ve been floating in this amniotic fluid for a while now. I can’t tell you how many people in the past 6 months have asked me “what’s next?” when, as Scott Stratten would say, we’re not even doing “right now” very well.

lisarobbinyoung
lisarobbinyoung
5 years 5 months ago

You said “doofus” – bonus points! Heh heh.

Les is so good at saying what other people are thinking and NOT saying – or at least not saying very loudly at times. But even a pregnant widow has a timeline for delivery. We’ve been floating in this amniotic fluid for a while now. I can’t tell you how many people in the past 6 months have asked me “what’s next?” when, as Scott Stratten would say, we’re not even doing “right now” very well.

FollowtheLawyer
FollowtheLawyer
5 years 5 months ago

Les,

Have I got a “thought leadership” opportunity for you! It’s called Quora, and all you need to do is ask and answer questions where you have “domain expertise” — sorta like Yahoo Answers and several others, BUT DIFFERENT — until…well…that’s not clear yet, but everybody’s talking about it, and trust me, don’t miss getting in on the ground floor!

FollowtheLawyer
FollowtheLawyer
5 years 5 months ago

Les,

Have I got a “thought leadership” opportunity for you! It’s called Quora, and all you need to do is ask and answer questions where you have “domain expertise” — sorta like Yahoo Answers and several others, BUT DIFFERENT — until…well…that’s not clear yet, but everybody’s talking about it, and trust me, don’t miss getting in on the ground floor!

lesmckeown
lesmckeown
5 years 5 months ago

Thanks, Follow – and let me guess – the rules to ‘succeed’ there are…to be engaging, authentic and useful, right?

lesmckeown
lesmckeown
5 years 5 months ago

Thanks, Follow – and let me guess – the rules to ‘succeed’ there are…to be engaging, authentic and useful, right?

lesmckeown
lesmckeown
5 years 5 months ago

@lisarobbinyoung I get to use ‘doofus’ because I am one, Lisa. We doofii have user rights. Appreciate your comment.

lesmckeown
lesmckeown
5 years 5 months ago

@lisarobbinyoung I get to use ‘doofus’ because I am one, Lisa. We doofii have user rights. Appreciate your comment.

lesmckeown
lesmckeown
5 years 5 months ago

@FollowtheLawyer Sorry – I didn’t nest my reply to you – it’s up there ^

lesmckeown
lesmckeown
5 years 5 months ago

@FollowtheLawyer Sorry – I didn’t nest my reply to you – it’s up there ^

FollowtheLawyer
FollowtheLawyer
5 years 5 months ago

@lesmckeown And you must listen (or hire others to listen for you).

FollowtheLawyer
FollowtheLawyer
5 years 5 months ago

@lesmckeown And you must listen (or hire others to listen for you).

HowieSPM
HowieSPM
5 years 5 months ago
@FollowtheLawyer @lesmckeown are there rules? I am a rulebreaker, rabble rousing, rapscallion or so I am told. Proud of it. In fact maybe it’s my sandbox? and I have the keys to the liquor cabinet. If you want something just ask. But remember the drinks I pour are stiff ones. BTW what is Face Book? On the subject of InkedIn from the latest Beancast Podcast I guess they are now selling our data outright to direct marketers. Include our network and connections.I had a disagreement with one of the VC’s behind Twitter and many other Social Tech Companies asking why… Read more »
HowieSPM
HowieSPM
5 years 5 months ago
@FollowtheLawyer @lesmckeown are there rules? I am a rulebreaker, rabble rousing, rapscallion or so I am told. Proud of it. In fact maybe it’s my sandbox? and I have the keys to the liquor cabinet. If you want something just ask. But remember the drinks I pour are stiff ones. BTW what is Face Book? On the subject of InkedIn from the latest Beancast Podcast I guess they are now selling our data outright to direct marketers. Include our network and connections.I had a disagreement with one of the VC’s behind Twitter and many other Social Tech Companies asking why… Read more »
HerzogIND
HerzogIND
5 years 5 months ago

There you are again, leaning to the right. Great post, though Les.

I believe Doug Davidoff has the appropriate response—“It must translate into more business.” (I’m paraphrasing, of course.)

So SM, too, will evolve. Highly complex, adaptive systems always do. That, plus the genius of our economic model, will determine which Face Book or LinkedIn’s you should be involved with, Les. That is unless you want to be stuck selling buggies in a post-auto-industry world. 😉

HerzogIND
HerzogIND
5 years 5 months ago

There you are again, leaning to the right. Great post, though Les.

I believe Doug Davidoff has the appropriate response—“It must translate into more business.” (I’m paraphrasing, of course.)

So SM, too, will evolve. Highly complex, adaptive systems always do. That, plus the genius of our economic model, will determine which Face Book or LinkedIn’s you should be involved with, Les. That is unless you want to be stuck selling buggies in a post-auto-industry world. 😉

RandomShelly
5 years 5 months ago

LOL – I have had conversations like this quite a few times when it comes to social media – and I am not even (not even close to being) a PR/Communications/business person!

Well said Les, of course…

Love,
Shelly xoxo
Sometime (rare) champion over Les in WWF

RandomShelly
5 years 5 months ago

LOL – I have had conversations like this quite a few times when it comes to social media – and I am not even (not even close to being) a PR/Communications/business person!

Well said Les, of course…

Love,
Shelly xoxo
Sometime (rare) champion over Les in WWF

lesmckeown
lesmckeown
5 years 5 months ago

@HowieSPM @FollowtheLawyer “Does this mean Apple will start giving me phones, tablets, and computers in exchange for the digital ad revenue?” – People tried it in the first tech bubble – allegedly free computers if you surfed the right sites for long enough. I guess it’s only time before it comes around again.

lesmckeown
lesmckeown
5 years 5 months ago

@HowieSPM @FollowtheLawyer “Does this mean Apple will start giving me phones, tablets, and computers in exchange for the digital ad revenue?” – People tried it in the first tech bubble – allegedly free computers if you surfed the right sites for long enough. I guess it’s only time before it comes around again.

lesmckeown
lesmckeown
5 years 5 months ago

@HerzogIND I agree entirely. It will sort itself out, of course (already has, to some extent). Even then it’ll continue to evolve. Meantime I’d just like to see more recognition we’re at the very start of a long – though hopefully exciting – journey.

lesmckeown
lesmckeown
5 years 5 months ago

@HerzogIND I agree entirely. It will sort itself out, of course (already has, to some extent). Even then it’ll continue to evolve. Meantime I’d just like to see more recognition we’re at the very start of a long – though hopefully exciting – journey.

lesmckeown
lesmckeown
5 years 5 months ago

@RandomShelly You are an honorary sm/pr person by dint of association, Random 🙂

lesmckeown
lesmckeown
5 years 5 months ago

@RandomShelly You are an honorary sm/pr person by dint of association, Random 🙂

Doug_Davidoff
Doug_Davidoff
5 years 5 months ago

@lesmckeown @HerzogIND Yup – you got me right.

Doug_Davidoff
Doug_Davidoff
5 years 5 months ago

@lesmckeown @HerzogIND Yup – you got me right.

janbeery
janbeery
5 years 5 months ago
hahahaha breath hahahahaha! Ok, now….. Whew! Real tears too! Bottom line my dear potential client. When YOUR potential client is searching for a product or service and YOU have that product or service, are YOU where they are searching? Are YOU top of mind? Is YOUR potential client able to ask YOU for “whatever’s next baby” on the latest and greatest improvement or solution to their problem? You’d better be, cause your competition is. That competitor is seeking any and all ways possible to be THE PRODUCT OR SERVICE of choice! Oh, Look at the time! Well, I’m off to… Read more »
janbeery
janbeery
5 years 5 months ago
hahahaha breath hahahahaha! Ok, now….. Whew! Real tears too! Bottom line my dear potential client. When YOUR potential client is searching for a product or service and YOU have that product or service, are YOU where they are searching? Are YOU top of mind? Is YOUR potential client able to ask YOU for “whatever’s next baby” on the latest and greatest improvement or solution to their problem? You’d better be, cause your competition is. That competitor is seeking any and all ways possible to be THE PRODUCT OR SERVICE of choice! Oh, Look at the time! Well, I’m off to… Read more »
Doug_Davidoff
Doug_Davidoff
5 years 5 months ago
Great stuff Les. I’d laugh at the humor, except it’s a little too realistic. This is a perfect example of the problems people have in confusing process with results. It’s also a great example of how the message is so focused on the tactics of SM. SM works as part of a larger engagement strategy. It takes commitment, but I think of it like the Celtics think. There’s a sign in the locker room that says: There’s a game tonight and we have to play. We might as well win. Since we are going to be putting forth the effort… Read more »
Doug_Davidoff
Doug_Davidoff
5 years 5 months ago
Great stuff Les. I’d laugh at the humor, except it’s a little too realistic. This is a perfect example of the problems people have in confusing process with results. It’s also a great example of how the message is so focused on the tactics of SM. SM works as part of a larger engagement strategy. It takes commitment, but I think of it like the Celtics think. There’s a sign in the locker room that says: There’s a game tonight and we have to play. We might as well win. Since we are going to be putting forth the effort… Read more »
janbeery
janbeery
5 years 5 months ago

@Doug_Davidoff Agree Doug! Good response! Bottom line, you going to get the business or is your competitor!

janbeery
janbeery
5 years 5 months ago

@Doug_Davidoff Agree Doug! Good response! Bottom line, you going to get the business or is your competitor!

Doug_Davidoff
Doug_Davidoff
5 years 5 months ago
@janbeery I agree with the intent of what you are saying, but not competely in it’s execution. The promise of SM/SEO/PPC whatever is that “you’ll be at the top” or something similar to this. SM is a tactic in a much, much larger strategic approach. There are lots of ways to grow a business. Believe it or not the vast majority of successful businesses are not actively engaged in SM (please don’t misunderstand – I’m not saying they shouldn’t be). To add to that, the vast majority of people active on SM posting, what is it, valuable links – ARE… Read more »
Doug_Davidoff
Doug_Davidoff
5 years 5 months ago
@janbeery I agree with the intent of what you are saying, but not competely in it’s execution. The promise of SM/SEO/PPC whatever is that “you’ll be at the top” or something similar to this. SM is a tactic in a much, much larger strategic approach. There are lots of ways to grow a business. Believe it or not the vast majority of successful businesses are not actively engaged in SM (please don’t misunderstand – I’m not saying they shouldn’t be). To add to that, the vast majority of people active on SM posting, what is it, valuable links – ARE… Read more »
Doug_Davidoff
Doug_Davidoff
5 years 5 months ago

@janbeery Thanks. Just responded to you as well.

Doug_Davidoff
Doug_Davidoff
5 years 5 months ago

@janbeery Thanks. Just responded to you as well.

ginidietrich (Gini Dietrich)
5 years 5 months ago

For all you social media experts out there, this @lesmckeown guest post is for you http://bit.ly/e2KLvy

justinthesouth (Justin Brackett)

Great Post! RT @ginidietrich: For all you social media experts out there, this @lesmckeown guest post is for you http://bit.ly/e2KLvy #abiah

lesmckeown (Les McKeown)
5 years 5 months ago

Me. Den. Lions. RT @ginidietrich For all you social media experts out there, this @lesmckeown guest post is for you http://bit.ly/e2KLvy

lesmckeown
lesmckeown
5 years 5 months ago

@Doug_Davidoff I think it’s also a case of assuming that my client is me. SM folks are immersed in SM, so they think everyone else is too – but less than 8% of americans have a Twitter account – less than 1 in 12 – but listening to us talk on Twitter (and I count myself in on this) we make the mistake of thinking ‘we’ are ‘everybody’.

We’re not.

lesmckeown
lesmckeown
5 years 5 months ago

@Doug_Davidoff I think it’s also a case of assuming that my client is me. SM folks are immersed in SM, so they think everyone else is too – but less than 8% of americans have a Twitter account – less than 1 in 12 – but listening to us talk on Twitter (and I count myself in on this) we make the mistake of thinking ‘we’ are ‘everybody’.

We’re not.

lesmckeown
lesmckeown
5 years 5 months ago

@janbeery See! That very word – ‘solutions’ – that’s a real coastal expression right there. All the rest of us in the flyover states – we just want answers 🙂

lesmckeown
lesmckeown
5 years 5 months ago

@janbeery See! That very word – ‘solutions’ – that’s a real coastal expression right there. All the rest of us in the flyover states – we just want answers 🙂

keanearrow (Martin Keane)
5 years 5 months ago

RT @ginidietrich: For all you social media experts out there, this @lesmckeown guest post is for you http://bit.ly/e2KLvy

Doug_Davidoff
Doug_Davidoff
5 years 5 months ago

@lesmckeown Well said. That’s why I think the most valuable skill in the world to have is the ability and discipline to always see things through your customer’s eyes.

Doug_Davidoff
Doug_Davidoff
5 years 5 months ago

@lesmckeown Well said. That’s why I think the most valuable skill in the world to have is the ability and discipline to always see things through your customer’s eyes.

janbeery
janbeery
5 years 5 months ago

@lesmckeown We deal with a lot of solution based environments in the medical community. Problem solving, seeking solutions, resulting in answers. Possibly a different use of language?
This is very interesting! I’m ever learning, ever broadening my mind to consider other approaches. NOW I’m going to take this to our team meeting tomorrow and ask the question, Are our clients seeking answers or solutions?
Thanks Les and Doug.

janbeery
janbeery
5 years 5 months ago

@lesmckeown We deal with a lot of solution based environments in the medical community. Problem solving, seeking solutions, resulting in answers. Possibly a different use of language?
This is very interesting! I’m ever learning, ever broadening my mind to consider other approaches. NOW I’m going to take this to our team meeting tomorrow and ask the question, Are our clients seeking answers or solutions?
Thanks Les and Doug.

JenKaneCo (Jennifer Kane)
5 years 5 months ago

Great post by @lesmckeown: http://bit.ly/e2KLvy Those of us with the goods to be midwife to the chaos say bring it on. (via @ginidietrich)

ginidietrich
ginidietrich
5 years 5 months ago

@lesmckeown @FollowtheLawyer LOL to both of you!

wpDiscuz
[postmatic_subscribe_widget]