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Rick Grant's weekly reading list

Rick Grant's weekly reading list

By Rick Grant

Each week, I’ve been trying to share some of the best stories I have found over the past several days. Because this has been a  holiday week, I’ve had a bit more time. To save yours, I’ll try to give you a good reason to click through to these pieces. Let me know if you find this helpful. Finding good thought leadership doesn’t just help you improve aspects of your life. It can also suggest ideas for your own articles, allowing you to share what you have learned so far.

One of the places I like to start looking for thought leadership each week is LinkedIn. Articles that appear in my feed, written by people I chose to connect with through the platform, receive a lot of my attention because I already have some level of trust for the author. Unfortunately, not that many of my connections are using this platform to share thought leadership.

In an informal study we conducted last week, we looked at the C-level executives I’m currently connected to on LinkedIn. Of those, and the sample was not insignificant, only 37.4% were actively blogging on the platform. Only 9.2% had filed a post during June and just 8.2% had published at least once each month in 2018. That’s an underutilized resource, especially when the thought leadership articles you write there are so easy to share with your connections.

So, what have I found on LinkedIn recently?

Tammy Butler, CEO of Fair Lending Diversity, recently wrote about the tough decisions lenders would have to make regarding DACA client status.

Dave Savage of Mortgage Coach offered us advice from best selling author Jack Daly and explained how to optimize lead conversions.

Michael Harris, CEO of Exceleras, finished up his series on tech trends impacting the mortgage business in 2018.

And Ron Ahlensdorf Jr., President of Summit Valuations, posted some advice for executives who are ready to become a more energetic leader.

If you’re not publishing on LinkedIn, reach out to me and I’ll tell you how easy it can be to start sharing your thought leadership.

Some marketing thought leadership
Technically, I’m a writer who works out of a public relations agency, but the lines between marketing and PR have been blurring for some time. I consume a fair amount of marketing thought leadership. Here’s some I found interesting this week.

My first love is writing, but many of you know that I also record a little show on Mortgage News Network. My wife says I look a bit too much like a bobble head (I’m working on that), but I love the power video has to educate and inform. And now, you can post videos up to an hour long on Instagram, of all places. Why would you want to do that? I’m not sure we can use that very well on the B2B side, but we’re studying it. In the meantime, here’s a demo of the new IGTV.

Whether we do it on Instagram, Facebook, Youtube or our own websites, we’re all going to be creating more video in the future. And not just on-offs. We’ll be producing more video series. Here’s one take on why video series are the next big thing in marketing.

We’ll have to figure out how to leverage this in the B2B space, where RGA operates. After all, our customers (and theirs) are different. Here are 6 ways B2B customers are different.

Other interesting items I came across this holiday week
I’m also tracking thought leaders who are interested in helping us live better lives, not just so we can do better in business, but so we can enjoy our lives more.

One key to living a better life may surprise you. It has to do with the most important skill that nobody taught you (and it’s not about making friends and influencing people).

That message was echoed in something I read this week on Travel and Leisure. Now, granted, they have a vested interest in convincing us to slow down and enjoy life, but that doesn’t make them wrong.

Sometimes, all it takes to live a happier life is to just get outside. At least that’s what the folks at National Geographic wrote recently.

There is plenty of evidence that suggests that finding this kind of balance will make us better leaders. Here are some other thoughts on effective leadership from Inc.com.

And now for something completely different
I’m a structure writer. I believe that if you get the structure right, you can produce well written content. I was surprised this week to find out that this even works for stand up comics. Did you know that some of the best build their routines around a great structure. Also, the webpage that taught me this was truly excellent.

I hope everyone had a great holiday week and that you enjoy your weekend reading.