Lists are all the rage.
The Top 100 This. The Best 50 That. The 200 Top Thingymajig Influencers.
Yadda, yadda, yadda.
I get it. Lists can be useful.
They can help newcomers to an industry identify some folks they might want to check out and follow, to gain insight and knowledge from.
Lists are also genuine labours of love from people, wishing to recognize their peers and those who have inspired their growth.
These are the good lists.
Then you have the ones that are nothing but ego strokes, SEO linkbait and “Will you invite me to your soopah awesome inner circle if I keep listing you?” lists.
The trouble with these lists is that they’re so generic, so banal, that any recognition they were meant to give is lost in the choruses of “Seriously?” questions and snickers at the inclusion of a tech support guy on the “most amazing business people” list.
You want amazing business people? Look at those that have failed and got back up again and succeeded, because that takes serious business balls.
You want lists of the most amazing influencers? Look at people that have truly affected global and cultural mindset, like Gandhi, Steve Jobs, Rosa Parks, Terry Fox.
A list that recognizes the ability of a blithering idiot spending all day being awesome on Twitter to define them as influential should be ignored immediately. Or pinned to the wall as an example of all that’s wrong in the social media echo chamber.
And we wonder why business execs still look at this space with trepidation and lack of enthusiasm.
So by all means, continue to create these kinds of lists, but here’s how to ensure you can avoid yours being taken less seriously than others.
Make it a 14 Billion People You Should… list. With about 7 billion people actually on the planet, that leaves room for two recommendations per person.
And with a 50/50 option like that, the chances are one of the lists will be useful…
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