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Superstars and Brilliant Performances

I clicked on a link to Rolling Stone that Christine Kless had posted on Facebook and took a look at a slide show of still photos featuring the cast of Mad Men including this quote “If Rob Lowe had been cast in the part, it would have been different,” says Jon Hamm, on the set in L.A.  “There was no back story with me.”

So true.  An absence of superstars on Mad Men has contributed to it being greater than if it had been cast with well known names and faces.

This got me thinking about various discussions regarding superstars in social media that I’ve observed and the perceived need to get thousands and thousands of followers in order to enjoy success, be proclaimed an influencer and get voted in to SXSW, etc.

It’s hard to argue the gravitas that comes with social media stardom.  An individual’s ability to bring an audience of 60,000, 150,000, 200,000 and more with them does much to grease the skids leading to paid speaking gigs, book deals and other opportunities to monetize. Even people who are published on a regular basis, have their own radio and TV shows have turned to Twitter to enjoy the benefits that come with a large following,  in some cases enjoying a following much larger than the number that tune in for the broadcasts.

For those of us who feel a jolt to the heart when we see an above average increase in numbers of hits to our blog that numbers in the hundreds – the right RT by the right person can blow those stats into the stratosphere.  And so we covet (a bit).

But it occurred to me, when I read the Hamm quote that I’d rather be part of a brilliant performance than a superstar.  Please don’t interpret that as judging – if you want to be a superstar, Godspeed.  But as a consultant, there is a finite number of people that I can realistically serve.  I have no intention of ever hiring a staff.  I don’t want to manage other people.  So it boils down to quality and performance.

How about you?  What is your preference and why?

8 Responses to Superstars and Brilliant Performances

  1. Linda Shillingburg says:

    Dawn–Once again, I am so impressed with how you can explain a business topic by using something in current media. You are a true teacher/mentor/leader and a brilliant performer. In my eyes, you have always been and will always be a superstar because of how much you teach me. (But I do get your distinction!)

    • Dawn says:

      Thank you for the kind words! The truth is – sometimes I find myself seeking something that isn’t really aligned with my goals. Not disastrous in and of itself – but worth evaluation and course correction. And if that nudge can come from Rolling Stone or People Magazine – all the better! 😉

  2. Christine Kless says:

    Definitely a brilliant performance. Nice job!

    • Dawn says:

      I know – when I read the quote I thought – whoever cast this thing was either very lucky or very smart or both. These are unforgettable characters. And I do fall on the side of having a great performance versus marquis draw. It works in the micro world.

  3. Good stuff Dawn! But not everyone knows what “RT” means, so perhaps break it down for us less-informed re-tweeters!

  4. Thomas Moradpour says:

    Very well delivered!
    I always find it funny to see I dividuals with 150.000 followers, but find these to be invisible in my timeline compared with someone with, say 1000, but who engages in real dialogue. The first is a broadcaster, the second a real influencer.
    I am with you on keeping numbers manageable… Quality >> quantity.

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