Before you build a platform, serve

Let's be honest, who doesn't like being known?  Being recognized is a nice feeling.  Titles are good.  The opportunity to have more responsibility and to be known as someone who accomplishes things by one's peers is an awesome feeling as well.  Everyone would like to be recognized as a difference maker.

The internet is a new frontier for people who want to make a greater impact but quicker.  Leaders have begun to build their online platform through social media, blogs, podcasts, and other online resources.  Unfortunately, a platform can be built for all the wrong reasons.  Self promotion, personal financial reward, and simply the desire to be recognized can cause some leaders to become addicted to platform development (If you check your Klout score weekly, there might be an issue).

I would encourage leaders to think less about platform development and more about finding ways to serve.  Platform development is a rabbit hole. Leaders can get lost in pursuit, losing the original purpose of leadership: Serving people.  There are some big names out there who are cashing in on their "platform."  And that's absolutely okay, it's good business.  But if you are just starting to be a leader who embraces the potential to serve more people online spend time using social media to find service opportunities instead of trying to gain a false number of followers.

Keep serving.