This is what passes for advice these days

OK, it might be just me. Am I jaded? Or do fame and business overlap on the Venn diagram right where goofy quips, inspirational phrases and obviousness pass for advice? Check this out.

To me, there's a difference between that which is meant to inspire (which is where I really think B2.0 was trying to go with this piece) and advice (which is more tangible, immediately actionable).

Here's your advice:

Take advantage of early opportunities

You can't force yourself on people

Technology is complicated

Sometimes say no

Consumers are emotionally connected to brands

If you have a start-up, ask for feedback

Join a company that matches your values

There's opportunity in emerging markets

Communicate what you are about

UGC = User generated Content and it's good

Trust among co-workers is important

Overcome setbacks

Well, there's more you can read for yourself. It kind of leaves me wondering "where's the beef?". Or maybe I'm a little disenchanted at the prospect of having "advice" delivered to me that really feels like marketing. Are they all trying to perpetuate their own personal brands, their corporate brands or are we expected to be enlightened by this advice (I admit that I only got through about 15 or so before I had to stop myself)? Maybe I just feel a little beaten about the head with the same few nuggets of "wisdom". Maybe some of this stuff is appropriate for book jackets or holiday cards, speaker bios. But advice? Maybe the corporate executive personality cult has reached the point where saying something unique and interesting isn't required any more. Is that it?

Please, please people...step away from the talking points...slowly step away from the talking points and give me something I can work with.

Or is it just me?

Comments (11)

  1. Christine says:

    Ha ha, I love it.

    "Overcome setbacks."  –great, now I’m set for life!  Why didn’t I think of just overcoming them??

  2. HeatherLeigh says:

    I know. I tried the wallowing route and was wondering why I had not thought of something different. Fortunately, Carly Fiorina came along to set me straight!

  3. Bad_Brad says:

    Well, when look at mainstream media – any of the major networks, anything owned by Time-Warner or Disney, heck even our own MSN – you are going to get mainstream answers, i.e. answers that anyone with half a brain could have come up with on his own.  Mainstream media can’t really be hard-hitting, if it was, it would cease to be mainstream.

    "Sometimes say no" – gee, really?

  4. HeatherLeigh says:

    Bad_Brad – I agree. I guess I just wish they hadn’t called it "advice". But then what would they call it. How refreshing would it be if they actually called it what it is…."egocentric fluff". I’d love that.

  5. I was just waiting for, "Ya Gotta Want It", but was disappointed…

    I guess they didn’t want it enough…


    PS: I’d go for "inane prattle" instead of "egocentric fluff".  Do they really think they’re helping people with this?

  6. HeatherLeigh says:

    I love "inane prattle". I almost typed "I live ‘inane prattle’". Hmm, that too.

    Oh and don’t lose hope…."Ya gotta want it" may have made an appearance in those advice segments I didn’t get to. I didn’t want it enough to read the rest.

  7. Mulch says:

    I agree… kind of made me wanted to "urp". I just closed my browser instead.

  8. Christine says:

    Heather, what advice would you give?  

    I think a good piece of advice (from a famous movie; can’t remember the name) is:  "Sometimes the right way out IS the easy way out."  (The man is telling the woman she should just walk away from the situation.)

  9. HeatherLeigh says:

    Hmm, what advice would I give? I think that one thing that I have learned personally is that sometimes it’s better to help other people find the answers than to have all the answers yourself. I’m still working on that one. It’s probably some kind of insecurity where I need other people to acknowledge that I am smart or to get credit for being the "problem solver". Turns out, you get a lot of credit for being a supportive leader too. I’ve learned to ask "What do you think?" a lot more.

    I’m the most annoying Trivial Pursuit player ever! But I guess it helps with the blogging!

  10. Great post, Heather! I’m with you on the judgment regarding advice. There should be actual information somewhere in there, not just comforting fluff to make people feel warm and fuzzy. Something like "take advantage of early opportunities" works great in a fortune cookie (I believe that’s where it’s originally from) but that’s about it.

  11. HeatherLeigh says:

    Yeah, fortune cookies. Not talking points….fortune cookies. Good one : )

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