Tag Archives: popularity

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growing popularity

Growing Popularity May Be An Illusion

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Growing popularity is one reason that many people participate in social media. Are other people gaining traction or otherwise growing their social presence at alarming rates? Is it real, authentic, and justified?

Do you post regularly and if so, why?

Consider the selfie as an example. Is it real? Does it use filters to dress it up? What is the reason for the post?

Is it for a significant event or just boredom dressed up like, “Bet you wish you were here.” Better yet, “Bet you wish you were me.”

One trouble spot is the algorithms of big tech. What type of posts are rewarded, shown more, shared or kept alive?

Post a picture of the final days of a beloved pet and it will get some attention. The same is probably true for something that appears outlandish.

A picture of you hand washing your dishes in the kitchen sink at 4:30 AM might be kind of boring. Unless of course, it is so out of character for you others notice and consider it preposterous.

Social media has a way of rewarding the absurd.

Except when they choose to block it for what is commonly labeled as fact-checking.

Growing Popularity

Facts are often nothing more than opinions presented in a compelling way that makes it feel or appear factual.

The selfie with filters comes to mind.

Popularity often becomes a race to escape reality. In other cases, it is a race to be bizarre, outlandish, or just totally outrageous.

The truth is that many social media threads are not rewarded by creating something better.

They are often rewarded for all the wrong reasons.

Many people engaged in frequent posting are addicted to the count of clicks, likes, and shares. The algorithms are definitely addicted, that is if they are not disabled through fact-checking.

What appears popular does not mean that it is the most helpful. It doesn’t confirm that the intentions are honorable or even desirable. The absurd gains popularity equally to the beautiful.

Perhaps any press, is good press.

Be cautious of what is popular.


Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

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workplace popularity

The Workplace Popularity Myth

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Do you believe that workplace popularity works? Does popularity really matter?

Connect to one person, in one topical area on Instagram and then heart a post. Next, you’ll be amazed at how many additional people want you to follow them.

Somehow, I’ve become connected with topical areas that really don’t interest me that much. To be honest, I’m not sure how that happened.

In Search of Viral

Popularity seems like a big deal. It is a big deal for going viral. It is the picture, the video, the blog or podcast. Lots of people wanting to go viral.

There are a lot of kids playing football, baseball, or soccer in high school. A subset of those kids go on to play the sport in college. A smaller (much smaller) subset make it to the professional sport. Then a few of this very small set actually get paid really big money.

On a smaller scale the same is true. If you work in a one-hundred-person company you may be able to be one of the top three in sales, or engineering.

Is this a good place to be or should you strive for something much bigger?

Workplace Popularity

In a crowd of one hundred, you may be recognized as a best in class. Are you popular? Yes, maybe.

Things change though when you attend the national conference. Now, you are just another attendee, unrecognized as a best in class.

It seems that in today’s World too much emphasis is being placed on being popular. It is a race to clicks, likes, and recognition. Gaining you what? Popularity?

Only a very few of even the most popular will go on to something bigger.

For your career, or small business venture maybe it is better to stay focused on the smallest viable crowd. A crowd where your efforts and rewards are earned and matter more.

The big fish in the smaller pond.

Growing authentically is more powerful than dubiously.


Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

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likability builds relationships

How Likability Builds Relationships and Represents Leadership

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Have you thought about how likability builds relationships?

Recently I was lost for words when a business associate asked me about the results of meeting I had with an executive they had provided as a referral. After stumbling and fumbling for a moment I said, “Let me just say that Emotional Intelligence training might be helpful.”

While I’m not in the habit of being critical of people, I definitely felt a little frustration during my conversation with the aspiring executive.

Normally it is the kind of discovery I want to have, because I can often help. However it is sometimes challenging when the person who writes the check is really the problem and they absolutely don’t see it that way.

Likability On Your Radar

I wouldn’t say that the gentleman was totally unlikable. I understand how he might think he is doing his job, but my guess is that much of the team is not very fond of him. He is the kind of leader that when asked about being likable, he would say, “I’m not here to win a popularity contest.”

The single most important message that I can share with any aspiring leader is that you need to care about being likable.

Certainly that doesn’t mean that every decision you make or direction you turn will be popular. It does mean that you need to have likability on your radar.

Likability Builds Relationships

Whether it is with your team or with vendors, customers, or other stakeholders here are a few things that will help improve your likability:

  1. Be Positive. Sometimes miserable people like to connect with other miserable people, but leaders need to be inspirational. Always maintain a positive outlook. Inspire faith in the process, share plans and actualize the vision. Light the path.
  2. Show Empathy. Demonstrating caring and concern helps connect people emotionally. It doesn’t mean choices are made from fear or sympathy, it does mean that people know you care and understand.
  3. Stay Humble. Arrogance really shows ignorance. Your position doesn’t mean you can push people around. It really means that you have to serve harder, care more, and understand people.
  4. Listen Well. Chances are good that the most likable relationships are built by those who talk less and listen more. Listening is a skill. It’s different from hearing sounds or voices. Listen to understand.
  5. Connect. Never try to shove your way around. Pushy and authoritarian isn’t a relationship, but it might be bullying. In the workplace your best people are connected to their work by purpose. Build bridges not towers.


When it comes to building relationships you become what you practice. Being likable is important for any relationship but don’t confuse likability with popularity.

In leadership roles adhering to your responsibilities might not always be the most popular, but they should always be respectful.

Respect is earned. Leadership is a skill. Likability builds relationships.


Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and corporate trainer that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is a four-time author and some of his work includes, Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce and Pivot and Accelerate, The Next Move Is Yours! Reach him through his website at Dennis-Gilbert.com or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

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