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Author: Hans Eckman

Hans Eckman has proven you can turn mild ADD, OCD, and other personality disorders into a successful career. He shares his life simplification tips at conferences throughout the US and Canada and on his website. At SunTrust Bank, he established three different Centers of Excellence and a successful security services delivery team. Hans currently serves as a Principal Consultant at Blueprint Software Systems helping drive business transformation and delivery excellence.

Time to Prune Your Social Media History

Every week we hear about someone who has an embarrassing social post come back to haunt them. Even worse, this can lead to a loss of employment or being “canceled”. You need to actively manage your social image and reputation at all times. Wait! We have freedom of speech! Yes, but that does not mean freedom from accountability, judgment, and consequences. It’s up to you to set your risk tolerance. Here is guidance to help you decide and better manage your image.

Risks and considerations for having an expanded social presence

As I watched more and more people having to explain, delete, and apologize for past posts, I spent time considering my social trail, goals, and risk I was willing to take. Several major insights occurred to me:

  1. No one goes back to really old posts or sees what you like unless they are looking for someone specific or seeing who you are. When was the last time you scrolled through posts from 2 years ago?!
    1. Delete all old messages that do not have lasting value.
  2. What is acceptable now may be Cancelled in the future or understood under a different context. Imagine I posted about taking my niece to the zoo and how much fun we had. 10 years from now, what if zoos are considered horrible places of the past that unfairly incarcerated animals? There is such a limited value to having that post 10 years from now, that’s it’s just better to make it a point in time and delete it.
  3. Match your message and purpose with your platform: Social platforms are not a good place to sway opinions. I decided to focus on each location with how I could best reach my goal.
    1. LinkedIn – Professional image and content related to my current purpose and focus. Keep content timeless and safe to minimize professional risk. Don’t worry about history.
    2. Twitter – Pint in time notifications or very short updates. Delete all Tweets older than 30 days.
    3. Facebook personal account – Minimize personal account and lock everything down. Delete all posts after 1-3 weeks except for a few that are relevant to my public background or profile. Remove all tags to avoid conflict with comments or content changes later.
    4. Facebook Eckman Guides business page – Use as an extension of LinkedIn for professional posts, updates, and article sharing. Follow the same posting guidelines as LinkedIn.
    5. YouTube personal account – Get private except for low-risk videos I’m willing to have as public. (animal and dash camera videos)
    6. YouTube Eckman Guides – Use as an extension of LinkedIn for video content including presentation videos, podcasts, and topical playlists.
    7. Instagram – Use for professional photography sharing later. Minimize social interaction (likes, shares, comments).
    8. TikTok (or platform of the moment) – Just say no! Privacy risks are not worth it. This platform is not relevant to my content and purpose.
    9. Personal/Professional website – Use as primary professional marketing website and archive for support content, guides, presentations, videos, and recommendations.



Advantages of having an expanded social presence

  1. It’s required if you want to be an influencer – If this is your path, decide on your boundaries ahead of time and manually curate your content as needed.
    Advice: Develop a risk mitigation plan in case your posts or content draw negative attention. Delete and apologize is NOT enough of a strategy.
  2. You need views and likes to qualify for advertising standards – Deleting your history reduces your social influence and ability to hit advertising requirements.
    Advice: Define your goal and risk tolerance. Create guidelines for long-term content.
  3. Reaching a broader audience – You may reach more viewers and followers with a wider net.
    Identify your audience who benefits from your core value.
  4. Additional views – For some content, especially videos and podcasts, the majority of your views could come weeks or months later as more people discover your channel.
    Advice: Decide what is core to your message and keep that content until your purpose changes or the content is stale.

Tools to streamline social media management

Trying to manage your content and history manually can be time-consuming and difficult. Fortunately, tools are available to make it a little easier. I’m sure there are others or new ones since this article was written, but hopefully, this will help get you started. Note, I’m not endorsing any of these tools or articles, just saving you search time.

“Learning From The Best” – Bob Prentiss “BOB THE BA”

“Learning from the Best” is a series where I share lessons from some of the best mentors, coaches, and role models I’ve learned from. I hope you will find them inspiring too.

The next person I want to introduce you to in my series of inspiring mentors is Bob Prentiss. Known throughout the PM/BA conference circuit and industry, “Bob the BA” is the leading authority and subject matter expert on business analysis. Bob co-founded The Uncommon League based on the premise “Think, Learn and Work Differently”. Bob and team realized that to change the world, three things were needed: 1. People needed to step up and lead change. 2. People needed the tools and confidence to stand up. 3. To build tools and confidence, people needed access to quality training and coaching. The Uncommon League provides training, webinars, conferences, and coaching to teams and individuals at an affordable and disruptive price point. In the spirit of Albert Einstein, “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.”

Bob’s life has been a story worthy of a Hallmark movie (a good one, or maybe Netflix series would be better). He possesses an inner strength and willingness to confront and overcome challenges and never giving into them. Forced to leave home as a teenager for being gay, Bob worked multiple jobs before finding his career.

Does anyone really intend to become a business analyst? Many of us woke up one day and realized there is a name for our affliction defined in the BABOK, rather than APA Handbook of Clinical Psychology.

Bob’s intellectual and emotional intelligence helped him advance quickly as a thought leader in business analysis, training, and public speaking. When faced with a moral dilemma, Bob decided to leave his job when he couldn’t change or accept their unethical practices. I believe this was a defining moment for his principles that would guide the rest of his career. Not only did this solidify his desire to right inequalities and unjust practices, but also the desire to motivate and empower an army of change agents who would help make the world a better place.

From Bob’s myriad lessons, I picked just five to share with you.

Continuously build and update your toolbox

Any successful practitioner needs to have a good set of tools and know how to use them. For our careers, it can be as simple as learning new techniques or as challenging as developing our leadership philosophy. Continuous learning is the key difference between having 15 years’ experience and having one year’s experience fifteen times. Look for knowledge from diverse sources, people you admire, and stories that resonate with you.

Get inspired by others

In one of Bob’s presentations based on his book Little Slices of Big Truths, he shared examples of people who inspired him not because of fame or fortune, but their determination to overcome challenges. Bob used these stories and his own experiences to shape the world he wanted to make. All our lives are filled with inspiring people and similar stories. It is important to listen and embrace the lessons these stories provide.

What are the traits and stories that have inspired you?
How can you work them into the value you deliver?

It is not your opportunity, it is your obligation

“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” Edmund Burke

Over the last decade, Bob became increasingly worried about issues the world was facing. He fought against the continued attacks and attempted isolation of the business analyst’s role (we’re talking to you Agile evangelists!). In a wider sense, he wanted to do something about the social issues we were facing. Instead of buying poster boards and glitter glue, Bob decided to turn to his superpower and inspire people to take action. Anyone can be a leader and influence without authority. We must be willing to take the risk, confront what is wrong, and continue to try, even when our first attempts fail.

This is not a sprint, but a never-ending relay race. In the name of Bob and how much we all believe in you, don’t miss your shot, grab the baton, run with confidence, and pass it along to the next change agent. Take a deep breath, the next baton is waiting for you.

Savor Everything life has to offer

Bob has two personal passions: food and theater. He believes that we need to savor and enjoy everything life has to offer. Bob and I were presenting at a conference hosted by Amy Ruddell in New York City. In addition to presenting at the conference over multiple days, Bob and husband Paul went to seven plays and musicals in just four days, including Hamilton. After each event, they shared the moments that had enriched and impacted them both. They always found something of value to consider and enjoy, even if the production wasn’t great.

Try something new, something different. Challenge your beliefs and make your principles stronger. We can find inspiration from infinite sources, if we get better at listening. Search for sources that go against your beliefs and outside of your comfort zone. You already know that you love chicken tenders. Why not try the chef’s signature smoky deviled eggs this time?!


I can’t think about the movie “Sing” without picturing Bob on stage. If it weren’t for his business analyst affliction, Bob could have been a professional singer. Deciding to rekindle one of his loves, Bob joined the Twin Cities Gay Men’s’ Chorus. He LOVES to perform, whether on stage in a theater or in front of a room full of conference nerds. Bob creatively weaves songs and theater into all of his presentations and connects with people on a deeper level. His use of songs inspires and brings happiness to the audience.

We may not be lucky enough have a singing voice like Bob’s (I most certainly do not), but we do have a voice. How are you going to use your voice to share, connect, and inspire? As Bob would tell you, “It’s not your opportunity to sing, it is now your obligation.” Grab the baton, hold it like a microphone, raise your voice, share what you’ve learned, and now SING!!!

Epilogue – Spoiler alert, the sad part

When this story is posted, Bob will have lost his battle with cancer. After living each moment to the fullest, it was time to pass the baton one final time. For those who knew and loved Bob, there is nothing that will fill this void. As Hagrid said to Harry, [paraphrased] “You alright Harry? No, how could you, but you’re going to be.” I know these words are true, but that time seems so far away right now.

I’ve struggled for months to find a way to let him know just how much he meant to me and helped me through difficult times. I’m a better person, a stronger leader, and thanks to our friendship, I’m going to raise my voice even louder. I didn’t want to wait until it was too late, but just couldn’t find a way to sing to him.

Where I struggled to find the words, Bob once again filled the void and helped me complete the process. He texted me from the hospital with a simple message and short goodbye telling me he already knew what I had wanted to say and that he had always known.

I didn’t need to raise my voice to him. I needed to raise my voice for him now. The best way I could say goodbye to my best friend was to share his story, to honor his inspiration, and carry it forward without him. The road will be harder without Bob, but we are strong and willing to take those steps.

“Learning From The Best” – Bob Prentiss “BOB THE BA”

Uncommon League: In Memory of Bob the BA