Refine your skills to compete and succeed in the digital world

Refine your skills to compete and succeed in the digital world

By Danya Williams

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Today I listened to a fascinating webinar about Erik Qualman’s new book called Digital Leader. Erik is best known for his successful first book Socialnomics and his Social Media Revolution video which went viral

Digital leaders are made not born.

In order to succeed you need to adjust your skills to compete in the digital world.

Life, Leadership and legacy

Erik originally wrote Digital Leader for himself after feeling overwhelmed by the amount of information and demands which were being placed on him after the success of his first book, Socialnomics. He then realised that everyone feels overwhelmed in this digital age and simply want to live their best lives, lead others and leave behind a legacy that matters. The book became a very powerful reference for him to keep on track in his own life and so he wanted to share it with others. It outlines real life stories from Erik’s own experiences and other inspirational leaders like Steve Jobs.

Everyone wants to leave behind a legacy of their life and now we can see our legacy in real time in the digital world. It all starts with life today, how to do less with more whilst focusing on the people and things that really matter in life. Your Digital Footprints are what content you can control whilst Digital Shadows are what others upload and say about you e.g. photos and comments. Collectively your Digital Footprint and Digital Shadow affect your Digital Legacy. Erik’s book, Digital Leader, provides 5 powerful keys to positively put your STAMP on life and leave behind a positive Digital Legacy.

5 powerful keys for putting your STAMP on life


  • Success equals simplification and focus.
  • “The trick isn’t adding stuff, it’s taking away.” – Mark Zuckerberg
  • You should focus on output vs input i.e. Things which make a difference rather than getting caught up in the noise
  • Digital Leader talks about simple techniques to help you focus, like how to manage emails and using smart technologies
  • In order to manage what can be an overwhelming world, more doesn’t help, less is more.
  • The average person complains 15 times a day – focus on being below average. Stop complaining! Especially online as it stays there forever and digital complaining is toxic for a leader.
  • Research has found that multitasking is worse than smoking marijuana. Meaning in the moment you multitask your IQ drops 10%. So the way to get more done is not to multitask but to focus
  • People are continually demanding your time. But if you say yes to everyone you are saying no to everyone. Need to learn to say no to help some people.
  • Treat your life like a triage situation – Do what you can for a few rather than multitasking and saying yes to everyone.
  • How many projects are you taking on? Write 2 things you need to do each day to move you forward?


  • Be true to your passion and decide who you want to be before you decided what to do.
  • What do you stand for? What are your values? These will affect your integrity and reputation both online and offline
  • Only you know what you stand for so stay true to what you believe in life.
  • What is your unique niche or set of skills? In this globally competitive market with increasing skills shortages, it’s not good to be well rounded.
  • In order to be highly competitive, find out what is at your core and what you are good at, and then focus on refining those skills
  • “The only way to do great work is to love what you do” Steve Jobs
  • Steve Jobs simply wanted to make people’s lives better, not create great products. He wasn’t the nicest guy, but continually preached products that changed people’s lives and makes them happier. By focusing on this he changed how businesses works today and built one of the most successful companies ever.
  • What do you want people to read about you in 50 years’ time, in 140 characters or less?


  • Nothing happens without action – take the first step.
  • You can’t become a leader if you’re indecisive.
  • Fearing the results of failure and doing nothing is worse than making the wrong decision, as you can learn from your mistakes.
  • Being decisive makes you a leader so learn to make quick decisions and move with it.
  • So much time is wasted on irrelevant decisions. To prevent this happening, ask yourself:
    • What’s the worst thing that can happen if I make this decision?
    • In 3 months from now, will I care?
  • Some things aren’t worth stressing about. What matters most is making decisions quickly and learning from mistakes to move forward.
  • Erik advises us to fail more often and faster to increase your rate of learning and being decisive.
  • “An ounce of action is worth a ton of theory” Ralph Waldo Emerson.
  • Law of inertia states that things in motion stay in motion. It’s hard to stop things when they get in motion. Don’t wait for approval, start on a path, prove the theory and get momentum.


  • Have sense of where you need to go.
  • Be firm in the destination of where you want to end up with goals but be flexible in how you get there.
  • Goals and visions are needed to get where you want to be.
  • Digital Legacy is the path we’ve taken.
  • Facebook’s new timeline is a great way to show us how we’ve lived our lives.
  • What are you getting done? What are you wasting your time doing?
  • Erik talks about the genius of Forest Gump in focusing on one task at hand to achieve more and succeed in your chosen field.
  • Set laughable goals to keep you focused. Example given of Tiger Woods’ personal goal being 18 – that’s to achieve a perfect score of 18 holes in ones for a round of golf.
  • To reach your goals, make them public. This will provide both external support and pressure.
  • Remember, it’s more important who you become in the process of reaching your goal, not just reaching the goal.


  • Success doesn’t happen alone. Friends and follows are digital currency.
  • You need to network before you need to network so invest early and often.
  • It’s important to network regularly and build relationships that you might need help from later on.
  • Post it forward = Pay it forward. Utilise networks and achieve digital currency.
  • Erik talks about giving credit where it’s due and going out of your way to positively thank and pay respect to people who positively influence or inspire you, digitally in an open forum.
  • Did you know that LinkedIn profiles which are 100% complete receive 40% more business opportunities?
  • Who are 3 people you want to reach out to daily both digitally and in the real world?
  • Who influencers and inspires you – make time to thank them

I’d like to thank Suzi Dafnis from the Australian Businesswomen’s Network for hosting a fascinating webinar with Erik Qualman, author of Digital Leader and Socialnomics.


Digital Leader by Erik Qualman – Australian Business Network Webinar, 17th May 2012

Connect with Erik Qualman

Visit Erik Qualman’s blog site at

Connect with Erik on Twitter at @equalman

Watch Erik’s Socialnomics viral video:

Connect with Australian Businesswomen’s Network

Suzi Dafnis

Community Director – Australian Businesswomen’s Network


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