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False Credentials

False Credentials

I received an email last month notifying me that I’ve been nominated for Prime View Magazine’s “Ten Most Innovative Leaders to Follow in 2023!” Quite an honor right?

Not so much.

Of course, there is a “nominal cost” of $1,000 for “participation.” And then, for additional payments, you can obtain a “company of the month” designation and/or an Editor’s Choice focus and even a Cover Story! I can guess what those would cost.

This is like the modern day Who’s Who which lists anyone who can pay the fee and buy the books. It’s not an honor, it’s an advertisement and, much worse, an attempt at subterfuge. (I nearly got my dog, Trotsky, listed, but then they wanted to chat with him about an upsell.) I remember a realtor who served on a board with me and had an afternoon realty hour on local AM radio. It was the “longest running” realty show on the station. She claimed that they simply came to her and asked. In fact, they had also come to me about a consulting show, and the fee at the time was about $1,500 for the hour plus a guarantee of securing X amount of advertising to go to the station. She thought she could put one over on me, as if this were some great secret.

Think of an oval track where one runner simply goes across the diameter and claims to be the fastest athlete while the others race around the circumference. (Or the infamous Rosie Ruiz who took a subway part of the way to win the New York Marathon one year. Things began to fall apart when officials noticed she wasn’t perspiring.)

Build a body of work. Obtain terrific clients and use their referrals and testimonials. Write books. Create original IP. Then people will be impressed, but they won’t be by obviously purchasing phony placements.

You can build a body of work, but you can’t buy it. And once you’re known as a phony, it will take more than a subway to get you back in the race.


Written by

Alan Weiss is a consultant, speaker, and author of over 60 books. His consulting firm, Summit Consulting Group, Inc., has attracted clients from over 500 leading organizations around the world.

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