Have you wondered what this LION thing is? You’ll usually see it next to someone’s name… like this:
Jason Alba (LION)
Jason Alba [LION]
or, more common,
Jason Alba [LION 6,500+]
To see all kinds of renditions of this, just search LION in LinkedIn and you’ll find plenty of roaring LIONS. So just what does it mean, how do you become a LION, where can I find other LIONs, and why should you become one?
What is a LION?
LION is an acronym that stands for LinkedIn Open Networker. The idea is that, as an open networker, I’ll connect with anyone. I’m not conservative, I’m not closed (er, closed-minded?), and I really don’t care who you are, what you do, what I can do for you, or what you can do for me… if you invite me I’ll accept the invitation.
That’s a LION in it’s purest form, afaik. However, I’ve heard of LIONs who actually click the IDK button, which really ticks a lot of people off. We assume if we invite a LION to connect, they’ll accept, right? No one wants to get an IDK from a LION… it borders on sacrilege!
How do you become a LION?
It is a simple self-declaration – that’s it. No test, no submission, no application… just put LION next to your name (actually, I don’t recommend that, and it is against a LinkedIn policy (which they don’t really enforce)). Perhaps put it in your summary… but it’s as simple as that.
Where can you find other LIONs?
Simply search for LION on LinkedIn and you’ll find plenty. But there are some sites dedicated to LIONs, which actually help you grow your network like crazy with no effort. Here are some other sites that may help you in this LION research phase:
TopLinked – The TopLinked people on LinkedIn
Marc Freedman’s LinkedIn Wiki – this is a great read talking about “active networkers,” and one of the major problems with (or complaints about) them.
The MetaNetwork – I don’t know exactly what value this brings to LIONs, but if I cared to become a LION I’d investigate it more (I’ve seen them linked to quite a bit)
Why should you become a LION?
Well, I’m not a LION, so perhaps I’m not the best person to ask. Perhaps some LIONs will comment here (and fix any blasphemy I may have written). One reason to become a LION is so that you can grow your network, supposedly quicker. If numbers is what you need (to expand your searchability), or something you want (so you can brag about it), then this is a great way to quickly grow a network.
Whether these connections are actually useful to you, or you have any chance of nurturing individual relationships, well, that will be on a case-to-case basis, I’m guessing.
Note: being a LION and having tons of connections are two different things… I’ll write about having tons of connections in a later, related post
(photo courtesy phronk.com)