Tuesday, September 28, 2010
Oh everyone wants it.
But who spends time learning and refining the skills, techniques and mechanics?
I seek this knowledge out from lawyers, financiers, sales reps and marketing people that go to formal learning sessions. Even then it's not science and is hit-and-miss.
Who the heck is qualified to teach the SCIENCE of influence?
Her name is Jill Donahue and she does this through .....
I went to a session before work today.
It was engaging, sharp, short and I walked away with cold hard cash in my pocket.
I don't like the term "golden nuggets" or "kernels of thought" or "pearls of wisdom".
I work in non-profit. We're understaffed, under resourced and we won't make any time for professional development outside very practical job knowledge.
So when I make time to attend an "education session" - sorry- but you need to help me make money. I do so much more as part of my work but in the end it's what I do. I facilitate cash that ensures vital work can continue.
Today, Jill made me money.
There were no "reminders" here, this was new knowledge expertly informed in a format that was engaging, quick to digest but easy to remember.
For those in the technical charitable giving sector, we are concerned with undue influence, capacity issues, conflicts of interest and the perception of impropriety.
Jill's session is called "How to Ethically Influence Behavioural Change". She has served physicians and pharma - the most regulated professionals around.
Hold on to your seat.
It was a FREE SESSION.
My contact was a dynamic team member of this firm: Christie Chuakay.
They invited me down to the MARS of non-profit, the Centre for Social Innovation. It was a truly well planned networking opportunity. It was a fascinating but viciously practical presentation. It was fun and will help me in work and life.
Thinkhouse, I owe you.
In an age where every marketing firm is doing this.
You stood out.
Peers - get ready for "Brandsoap II" the revenge.
Jill - why aren't you speaking to fundraisers and gift planners?!
In the mean time if you haven't picked this fun read up - Jill recommends it and I read it right after it came out and enjoyed it as much too.
Monday, September 27, 2010
But Please. Cut the crap.
Work life balance is a bald-faced lie.
Employee assistance and wellness programs are band aids.
It's all about the culture created by leadership.
After that - the choice is our own.
And I can't stand that this is true.
I had a long day today. 7am networking meeting.
8am work meeting.
9 - 5pm
Helping a friend until 10pm.
On the subway home a young guy gets on the subway car with music coming from his cellphone.
Aggressive, offensive Hip hop.
Like any good Torontonian I said nothing and simply glared at him with annoyance.
Then I remembered and realized.
The album he was playing. Is one I really like.
The suit and tie is on 5 or 6 days a week and it's really getting to me. When it's on, I'm not really me. I'm them.I'm neck deep in this book - Toxic Success: How to stop striving and start thriving. It's hard to get through because I'm all about striving.
But in our ADD world, we give ourselves over to every demand.
Sure I can say no to jerks and things that are not in line with my work and mission in life. But I don't say no to ripe opportunities, helping others, a chance to fulfill the mission that drives me.
I schedule a lot of time for my spouse and child. Emphasis on "schedule".
But. If work asks and there's no "event" scheduled.
Just being present, has always been treated as...a waste of time.
Heartbreaking. Thank goodness for this book.
As I jump from one "life goal" to the next, convincing myself that "life will settle down" when I achieve the next one someone shines a light on "the path to success" that is in fact.... a treadmill.
Thank you to the male mentors (men who lead and are fathers) that have specifically told me the solution is not to run faster but to simply get off.
Wisdom, sadly must be earned and learned.
I'm sure someone told this guy to use another type of wood.
Thank you for sharing and being patient with me.
I'm going to name you:
This is a really great book to help get you back on track to either work or life.
I still don't believe in balance.
You do one for the other.
Sometimes we need a reminder
which one comes first.
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
(That's you right?!)
So here are two that pay me weekly dividends.
1) Offline ( aka the Real World )
It baffles me when people go to business events and sit with people they know.
Sitting with co-workers is like traveling the world and eating only at McDonalds!
You want to gab about work, do it at work. You're here to learn, meet new people who will help you with your job and might even improve the quality of your life.
At first I tried to get away from these folks - but they kept following me!
So in 2002 I tested a theory I've used at every type of event, personal and business since.
I get to an event early. I put my bag down on a chair and then I go network until the very last minute that is socially acceptable.
Then, I sit down and meet my surprise guests. I was at an event tonight and some VIP's sat down at my table. Listening to these intelligent, wise, thoughtful people was like free liquor for my brain. As always, some smart-alec walked by and said "I see you've seated yourself with the best people" and without having to come back with my classic line, this time they said it first...."actually, we sat with him!".
Try it some time. It has worked miracles for me.
Everyone knows I'm a LinkedIn pusher.
It's made me real world money and helped me in every facet of work and life.
But here's one part of LinkedIn most new folks don't join right away.
Groups connect you to like minded folks in a variety of subjects. They offer you a chance to share opinions with folks you don't know and often open new doors you didn't even know existed.
I have joined several groups of brands I like, sometimes when there was no one else in them. It's paid dividends several times because I get direct access to the creator of the group.
Tonight at the same influential event I mentioned where I was there to network the host of the event said to the 100+ guests "we have a LinkedIn group that we hope will be of help to you but we need more members. The only members right now are me and some guy named Paul Nazareth".
Guess how that reception went.
LinkedIn Answers, book lists, slideshare, blog link. Get in there, reap the rewards.
Your network is waiting!
Monday, September 20, 2010
Just got home from a 14 hour day. Spent some time with some negative folks today.
Checked my email - digital rejuvenation.
Want to share two items. Hope they help.
1) Evan Carmichael. This guy is a beast.
Someone sent me this list of his favorite inspirational business videos. Loved it.
He has a killer website about the best entrepreneurs of all time.
A great feature in "Telus talks business" and my marketing idol Seth Godin even blogged about a cool idea of his - entrepreneur trading cards!
What I'm saying is. The guy's a beast.
Look at these two freaks of nature. Focused like human laser beams.
What will it take to get you here? How can I help?
2) Author and University instructor on corporate communications, Elaine Stirling kindly sent me something I wrote to her months ago.
It was like me slapping me in the mouth.
"...we are the ones that invite ourselves to the table of success. Only we can allow ourselves to accept abundance and give ourselves permission to step up and claim our own personal greatness. We generally tread water at 50% of life, excel at 45% but there is that 5% where we're great,maybe the greatest on earth. I want to feed resources to my own 5% and help others find their passion and resources for their strengths as well! "
Without my network. I would have gone to bed, exhausted and beaten.
Now, I'm going to bed ready to wake up and punch the next day in the face!
What's your network done for you lately? Does it tear you down or build you up.
Let's work together to build you a network that helps you be your best.
In the mean time.
Monday, September 13, 2010
How 'bout that weather?
Oh that local sports team!
Every time it starts I think of Fred Flintstone's little dance before bowling. Ridiculous and superfluous.
Many networking books insist that a key factor to breaking through the drone of boring is to be interesting and unforgettable.
I'm currently reading a 2010 book that is (pardon the pun) fascinating.
If you're in the business of "client or donor service" this is a must read. It's a look into the science behind fascination and how to apply the strength-based approach to being the most fascinating person in the room and in your network.
The author has put together a FREE fascination test to help you identify which "triggers" you use to fascinate. Take the test! Use the results.
On this note, one of the key weapons in my arsenal for years has been
I know many people that "listen to it in the car" or "leave it on at home" but how many people purposefully listen to learn?
These podcasts have transformed my commute into a time for ideas, thought, reflection and most of all useful and interesting information for better networking.
Some are 1 hour, some are 10 minutes.
You choose what engages you!
Some of my favorite shows are:
Spark: Dive into the world of new and old media
Ideas : Rice crispies for your brain
Listner's Choice: Listeners request rebroadcast of most fascinating documentaries Tapestry : Religion and spirituality discussions from around the world
Writers & Co. : Interviews with insightful and diverse authors
White Coat, Black Art : Understand the medical system to help yourself and others
DNTO : Engaging, witty, irreverent. This is indeed, Definitely not the Opera
Rather that just leave you to the huge world of podcasting, I have uploaded a very small selection that I personally found useful and fascinating.
Please enjoy and share.
Next time you see me, for the love of pete - don't comment on the weather.
Thursday, September 9, 2010
Recently I was listening to some teenagers interview for a job sharing their passionate commitment to change.
Like most people getting "older" I had the "oh boy, did I sound like that" moment. Who didn't think they knew everything at 18? Cutting them slack is one thing, but who is there to help them achieve the change they seek? I bashed my head against the walls, got beaten up, then beaten down and thrown out of places I really cared for. Places where I could have made a difference. I wanted to warn them.
I prompted them about roadblocks and how to get to solutions. About compromise, consensus and dialogue. Just like 18 year old me, they saw walls to break through, not tools to achieve a purpose.
Change is a dangerous opiant. I was on that drug, thanks to many wise mentors I now know that change is a tool and not a result.
So, I'm out. Change is no longer a key part of my brand. Change, you are the rocks in the sea of hope that daily dashes dreams.
My search is for UNDERSTANDING. In the words of Steven Covey in his international best seller "The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People" ( the 5th habit ) "seek first to understand then to be understood". Highly effective people make change naturally because of these habits. But progress, peace, productivity are the results.
Are you a recovering "change maker" like me? Have you been burned by the powers that be because they want to shut your dangerous ideas down?
Roger Martin's latest book "The Design of Business" reads like the handbook of how to survive the world of bean counters and status quo'ers. Pick it up, it's full of powerful secrets so you can learn to speak the language that they understand.
You want change? Look in your couch cushions.
You want results? Come join me.
This past week I moved house and am still living out of boxes.
I now have NO storage space and have to purge 1/3 of everything I own. Which is a good physical and spiritual exercise.
Talk to me if you've just moved out on your own or if you want a free Tiffany lamp.
I was in Barrie Ontario today. It's the end of an era, pretty much my most active network contact, my northern champion in Barrie is leaving. Her name is Ann Andrusyszyn and she is a human dynamo. Working for the Barrie public library she has been such a wonderful northern ambassador for the fundraising profession and promoter of the Simcoe area.
As Ann packs up for a move across the country she gave me a generous gift this morning at 7:30am. She said yes to my help. It's the greatest gift someone can give me.
You see I have all these boxes and moving supplies. Didn't want to junk or recycle them them when no doubt someone is moving. Ann let me drop off all the best boxes and some other supplies off.
Sometimes the strongest gift can be that of accepting. Fundraisers and "giving" types are allergic to accepting praise, gifts and thanks.
A great book called "Being Generous" introduced me to the concept of "circulation". A more grassroots concept than the constant acquisition, hoarding and selling goods.
As a fundraiser it was a breath of fresh air. If you read it let me know! Would love to discuss it with someone.
Saturday, September 4, 2010
And I have almost 600 connections.
Yes that's a lot of meetings.
3 a week minimum, I really shoot for five. 7am, 5:30pm or lunch when possible.
Yes that's a lot of meetings,
no I don't sleep a lot,
yes I make time for my family.
I do it because I'm seeking three things:
1) To meet the best and brightest coming up and coming into in my profession
2) To help only the proactive and kind to get ahead in work and life
3) To learn from the wisdom of incredible people
It is September, all the job seekers who took the summer off are looking and plenty of networking meetings are taking place.
But it's time I made public a dark statement I want to say every single day.
I DON'T WANT YOUR RESUME.
When people show up to a coffee meeting with a stack of crumpled paper with reams of information on it I want to ask
"what am I to do with this"?
But I'm a constructive criticism kind of guy and I've never had anything constructive to offer.
A special thanks to network Elisa McFarlane (more about her later) for sharing this format with me. She claims she did not create it, I don't care, she's the first one to bring something crisp, useful and interesting to one of these meetings.
I call it, the networking meeting biography. Something you can use to provide a snapshot and if the contact wants, they can take it and use it to refer you.
On this topic, no one seems to know about "the informational interview" or the "exploratory networking meeting". Google it if you're job searching.
In the mean time I have created a handy dandy template for this document. Download and share with anyone you know it can be of help to.
I will be forever grateful to Elisa for sharing this and for a truly fascinating meeting, it's not often someone strikes me silent, enraptured with stories and ideas.
A key resource that Elisa mentioned has helped her and she uses to help others is an incredible organization called "The Junior League". It's a networking organization for women and I can't figure out why more intelligent women in my network aren't members.
There are so many special things designed to keep women down in this world, how many are designed to empower?
How often do you feel like this?
Some of the training and networking they do is of incredible value, we had a conversation about the teaching of governance, something leaders pay to learn so often, is a mainstay of this group's understanding of volunteer service.
Check them out. If you want more information, talk to Elisa.
In the mean time. Please.
If you want to give me your resume.
Ps. An update. A career coach named Curt Skene sent me his site that has what I agree is the perfected version of the "one page bio". www.resumebriefcase.com