Do you stand out on LinkedIn?

LinkedIn_logoLast night I had the pleasure of presenting on the above topic to a group of UTS Alumnus. I faced the unenviable task of squeezing a one day workshop into a little less than an hour. The gathered group were most patient with me!

There were three big things I wanted to get across last night. I’ve uploaded the presentation onto Slideshare to give you a taste of the presentation (

You can’t stand out on LinkedIn. There are over 430million LinkedIn members and about 3.5million in Australia alone. If Heads of State, Nobel Prize winners and world famous entertainers/sports people can’t stand out on LinkedIn, then you & I have little chance. But there is good news. You don’t have to stand out on LinkedIn – all you have to do is stand out in YOUR part of LinkedIn! By your part I mean your community, your networks, your tribe.

Have a decent profile photo. The big point I want to get across here is that LinkedIn is not Facebook or Instagram or Tinder. A professional looking head & shoulders image wearing the type of clothing you wear when working is all you need.

Use your headline the right way. The headline section of your profile (i.e. those 2-3 lines that appear under your name at the top of the profile page) is in my humble view the most valuable real estate on your profile. So don’t waste it one something like your position title & the business you work for. Get creative! Here is my headline to get you started – Helping professional services firms better understand their clients & markets.

Hope the above helps!

Until next time.





Accountants – how to really upset your client! (1 of 2)

Recently I had a coffee with a friend of mine who happens to be a CFO of a big law firm in Australia. As always to protect the innocent let’s call my friend Jeremy as in Jeremy Irons.

Jeremy had been unhappy with the accounting firm he was using for the last couple of years. So to bring the matter to a head he arranged a tender and invited 5 major accounting firms to bid and to keep things fair he invited the incumbent to also lodge a bid.

After a few weeks, all submissions were made and the “beauty parade” commenced. Of the six firms tendering 2 were stand outs, 2 were average and 2, as Jeremy succinctly put it, “were rubbish”. Their old accounting firm was one of the bottom 2.

I asked Jeremy why the incumbent firm had rated so poorly; was their a bias in his business that they had to change accounting firms no matter what? Jeremy had said no – the selection panel was more than willing to give them a fair go. However, in the period leading up to the tender and during the process the incumbent firm did themselves no favours. Jeremy shared the following two examples.


Not long before the tender was announced Jeremy got a phone call from a senior partner in the accounting firm. The partner told Jeremy that another partner who was working on an important piece of advisory work for Jeremy was leaving their firm to join a competitor. Jeremy thought to himself well this isn’t good news but at least we’ll have a month or two to transition to another partner so the work can continue. Jeremy almost exploded in anger when the accounting partner told him, ” by the way … today is his last day” Jeremy was furious. He since found out that the partner doing the advisory work had resigned 3 months earlier and here he was being told that today was his last day! Jeremy considered the height of unprofessionalism and an incredible lack of transparency. Not a good look to say he least.

Tune into the next post to read example 2

James E

Are you trustworthy?

Recently I was watching a TED video. If you’re not familiar with TED you’re missing out. TED is a not-for-profit group running a series of live and online events with the purpose of providing a forum to ideas worth spreading. TED has been in operation since 1984. TED conferences bring together the world’s most fascinating thinkers and doers, who are challenged to give the talk of their lives (in 18 minutes or less). By the way TED stands for Technology, Entertainment, Design – the three worlds in which speakers are drawn from.

The video I watched was a talk given by Baroness Onora O’Neill a philosopher who focuses on international justice and the roles of trust and accountability in public life. She is a member of the British House of Lords, is an Emeritus Professor at the University of Cambridge and chairs the Equality and Human Rights Commission for the United Kingdom. Not a bad curriculum vitae to be sure!

In her 9-minute talk she addressed head-on the view that many in wider society trust others less.

According to the Baroness there are three important things to know and think about the issue of trust.

Firsly, is the claim that there has been a great decline in trust.

Secondly, given the above claim, we think there should be the aim to have more trust.

Thirdly, as individuals, society, governments, businesses and institutions, we should have the goal to rebuild trust.

Go to the TED link below and have a look – it is well worth it!

Until next time.

All my best,


TED Talk – Onora O’Neill: What we don’t understand about trust