Fictitious CEO Jack Donaghy once said, “He’s on LinkedIn, Lemon. He might as well be dead.” Caustic wit of the NBC comedy aside, many of you might know of LinkedIn from your workplace connections. You might have also noticed the articles that comprise the social network’s news feed. Jaguar Design Director Ian Callum joined LinkedIn recently, but not as a member for you to connect with; Callum is an Influencer.
An Influencer is a special designation on LinkedIn which means that you are recognized as a thought leader, an intellectual, a mover and/or shaker. It means that when you publish an article on the networking site, a lot of people should and probably will click on it. Milestone books like, “How to win friends and influence people,” “Good to Great,” “Blink,” and “Outliers,” are supplemented these days with LinkedIn articles by Influencers.
It should be noted that publishing articles on the site is already restricted. To gain Influencer status is even rarer and puts Callum in the company of Virgin Group founder Richard Branson, Microsoft founder Bill Gates, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Hewlett-Packard CEO Meg Whitman, journalist Maria Shriver, UK Prime Minister David Cameron and U.S. President Barack Obama. LinkedIn keeps the list of approved-people very tight, so it’s quite an honor for the veteran master of design to be admitted.
Callum’s first post went live last week, and appropriately enough it’s about the value of design. As we’ve written before, Callum’s roots to industrial design go all the way to his first submission to Jaguar at the age of 14. As an entrepreneur and veteran of the corporate world, Callum writes eloquently of the need to see design as more than “just a box to tick.” We’re glad to see his thoughts being shared and look forward to hearing them more often.