Earlier this week I had a chance to interview Glen Gilmore, a Top 10 Social Media Influencer according to Forbes! Time Magazine has professed him as, “A man of action.” Mr. Gilmore turned out to be one of the kindest, most insightful individuals I've ever had a chance to network with since I started Ripple, and I'm really happy to share with you the interview I had with him.
Glen is a Rutgers alumnus, a law graduate from Widener University School, and a student of executive programs of JKF School of Government at Harvard, a former two-term mayor for Hamilton, New Jersey, a social media maven, a college professor teaching individuals about social media law. He is also the CEO of Gilmore Business Networks.
Did you ever experience a troubling experience growing up that changed you into the person you are today?
Two days before my graduation ceremonies from Rutgers, I was critically injured in a war training accident with the National Guard, as an Infantry lieutenant. I was read my last rites and spent about a year recovering. (I then spent about a year studying and traveling abroad after my plans of going on active duty with the Army ended due to my injuries.)
I learned deeply that all our biggest plans are subject to change in an instant, but that we should keep living life fully wherever we find ourselves.
What was the greatest lesson you learned climbing Mt. Fuji?
Mt. Fuji is a tough climb, especially when you start your hike from the train station. The greatest lesson? Climbing heights is a lot easier when you have someone else making the climb with you who keeps you encouraged!
As ex-mayor of Hamilton, NJ, what is the biggest piece of advice you can give to someone seeking out a political career?
Stay true to yourself. There’s no point to it otherwise.
What was your experience like attending executive programs at the JFK School of Government at Harvard?
Harvard is an amazing place to learn and the JFK School of Government really does a spectacular job of elevating government and politics to a science. It is an incredibly inspiring and lasting experience even to spend a brief time there.
What was law school like?
Like the movies: lots of reading, not much sleep, learning to think on your feet!
Any tips you’d like to give to aspiring students looking to mirror your career?
Find mentors and study role models, but find your own path.
What made social media so attractive to you?
Social media is all about connecting with people and crossing boundaries of all sorts to make those connections. It’s the excitement of ideas, life and living. It’s a medium that lets every person be a publisher, a philanthropist, a student, a teacher – a neighbor. It makes education and new connections a constant occurrence.
What has been the biggest impact a student you’ve taught has had on you?
Every time I teach a class, I learn from my students. The biggest impact from all of my students has been the inspiration to keep learning as well as teaching.
What are your feelings on life-long personal development?
Each of us has incredible potential, but it takes a lot of work to transform that potential into something tangible and really productive. This requires life-long personal development.
As our world changes at such incredible speed, we must embrace dynamic, life-long learning.
Any books you’d like to recommend relating to social media or business?
Seth Godin’s Tribes is a great starting point for understanding social and Reis’ The Lean Startup is a great resource for entrepreneurs.
All in all, speaking to Gen Z, what is the advice you would give as they head off into the future?
Be yourself – and be bold!
In conclusion, Glen is a truly insightful, wonderful person to model principles by. He knows the importance of using adversity for personal advantage, and seeing how climbing a mountain can be an analogy for never doing the challenging things alone. He explains that social media was just an outlet for him to connect with people, and if you take a look at his twitter its all about sharing news and advise to benefit others. In his last remarks, “Be yourself and be bold.” It is no mystery that Glen has lived his life following his own path, and with today’s media always working to making individuals become like-minded, his advice shows that not conforming to the status quo truly has it’s advantages.
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