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Twitter Leadership FollowFriday Project (@WallyBock @Tom_Peters @PamFR)

Sometimes 140 characters are just not enough! That’s all Twitter gives you to communicate an idea. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy the challenge of finding a way to efficiently and economically express an idea. But sometimes you just need more than what they give.

Traditionally (that is, if there can be tradition associated with a communication technology as new as Twitter) Fridays have been a day where Twitterer’s share some of their favorite fellow Twitterers for their Followers to follow; it’s conveniently called FollowFriday. Many Weekly Leader readers and listeners are already on Twitter so this is old hat and those who aren’t on Twitter yet are probably confused, amused or bemused. In any case, we’re going to present our FollowFriday choices here on the website because it’ll offer a few more characters to help develop the “character” of the Twitterers we think you should follow from a leadership perspective. We won’t overwhelm you: we’ll only present three a week and many of them are pretty well known. But occasionally, we’ll try to surprise you with someone who may not be on your Twitterscope. So let’s begin!

My first choice is @WallyBock who undoubtedly is  well known to many Twitterers who are interested in the topic of leadership. To say that Wally is a prolific Twitterer is an understatement. As of this post, he has over 11,500 updates since joining on March 18, 2009. That’s a lot of Tweets! (Followers: 2,683 Following: 1,347) While many Twitterers, including me, feed information to their Twitter stream from other online sources and/or send the same update several times a day, week or month, @WallyBock keeps it fresh. And there is no question that there is a human behind that Avatar; from my perspective and experience, Wally never misses an opportunity to engage his Followers with replies and lots of Retweets.  I think @WallyBock really represents some of the best of what Twitter offers as an engagement/relationship tool and his comprehensive FollowFriday updates are reason enough to follow him just so you can stay on who’s Tweeting about leadership. Also make sure that you check out Wally’s great Three Star Leadership Blog.

My second choice is @Tom_Peters because, well, he’s Tom Peters! While many celebrities have officially verified Twitter accounts, @Tom_Peters’ is not. However, anyone who’s seen or read Tom Peters can recognize that this is the real deal. (If not, this is an awesome impersonation that further strengthens the Tom Peters’ brand.) Following @Tom_Peters can be a bit like drinking from a firehose with ADD. Tweets will come in rapid succession and many of them will be nearly indecipherable (to me); but hang in there because, not surprisingly, there lot’s of thought provoking, good ideas. If you’ve ever experienced one of his presentations or his PowerPoints, you’ll know what I mean.  Tom Peter joined Twitter on December 10, 2008 but unlike @WallyBock he’s only updated 350 times and most of those are one way outbound communications.  If you Follow him, as 8,267 are currently doing,  don’t expect for him to follow you back as he currently has only 84 on his list. Sadly, there is virtually no engagement or dialogue visible on Tom Peters’ Twitter stream but he’s a legend still worth following. Tom Peters’ website is also a must read for all students of leadership.

Finally, one of my favorite leadership Twitterers is my Weekly Leader podcasting partner, @PamFR. Pam joined on August 27, 2008 and has updated Twitter just over 4,900 times.  She currently has about 3,900 Followers and is Following about 2,000 people. Like @WallyBock, Pam is a master (?) at engagement and offers a wealth of knowledge and experience on the topic of leadership. Pam frequently shares her experiences as a mother and wife which adds even more value by making her stream “real” and reminding us of the importance of keeping things in perspective. Make sure you’re subscribed to the Weekly Leader podcast so you can hear Pam’s Research Report of the Week.

So those are my first three “leadership” Follow Fridays.” I hope to get other members of the Weekly Leader team to participate in this project and would love to get your feedback about who and why you Follow people on Twitter.

About the author

Peter A. Mello, Founder/Editor Founder of Weekly Leader and Sea-Fever Consulting, LLC, a leadership development and strategic communications consultancy. Previously, CEO of an international nonprofit organization and COO of a national insurance/risk management services firm. Peter has been leading people and managing organizations for over 30 years, writes a leadership column for MarineNews magazine and blogs about maritime culture at Sea-Fever. Follow him on Twitter.

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