Social media is changing the way we communicate and the way we are perceived, both positively and negatively. Every time you post a photo, or update your status, you are contributing to your own digital footprint and personal brand.
Social media is the ultimate equalizer. It gives a voice and a platform to anyone willing to engage.
Confidence and empowerment are cousins in my opinion. Empowerment comes from within and typically it's stemmed and fostered by self-assurance. To feel empowered is to feel free and that's when people do their best work. You can't fake confidence or empowerment.
It's a dialogue, not a monologue, and some people don't understand that. Social media is more like a telephone than a television.
Just as we teach our children how to ride a bike, we need to teach them how to navigate social media and make the right moves that will help them. The physical world is similar to the virtual world in many cases. It's about being aware. We can prevent many debacles if we're educated.
Shaquille and I kind of joke we were the Christopher Columbus of social media. We're kind of out on a boat by ourselves going through these uncharted waters. But it's become more understood, embraced and accepted, and now it's pretty much expected by fans for athletes, leagues and teams to be there.
I've never isolated role models based on gender. I have more male role models due to the mere fact that I've done business with more of them and they're leaders within the verticals I work. Of those, Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos.com, is an entrepreneur and personal friend that I have a great deal of respect for.
We'll continue to see more and more brands integrate social causes, charitable components and environmental issues as underlying themes to their campaigns and messaging. Humans connect with humans after all, and brands are using this as a point of connection to engage with their audience, especially charity-minded Generation Y.