This week’s topic ‘Networking Savvy’ forms the ‘launching pad’ of our brand new ‘EYES’ (Enhance Your Executive Skills) course that begins this Thursday, October 11. This six-week course combines training and coaching. I’m delighted to be developing this programme immediately after another exciting trip to Australia where I was again able to attend high-value meetings. One of these was an ICF (International Coach Federation) meeting in Sydney. The presenter, Dr Hilary Armstrong of ‘The Institute of Executive Coaching and Leadership’ discussed ‘Executive Coaching in an Increasingly Politicised Workplace’. She said that leaders, in order to develop ‘political savvy’ need to hone their ‘networking’ and ‘collaboration’ skills! (Isn’t this ‘music to the ears’!) These are people skills involving communication and this combination presents interesting challenges to us as coaches.
Let me give you some background: Seven years ago when I wrote my first book on personal networking, ‘Networking Tactics: a guide to achieving success through personal networking’ and even when the second book, ‘ABCs of effective networking: fifty-two ways to achieve success’ was published, social media was not a part of our daily lives. They continue to gain importance. However, the more we use electronic media for our communications, the more we need to be reminded of the importance of building positive personal relationships. This impacts on our ability to network and collaborate. And quality conversation is a key factor.
In Sydney I have a wonderful network of family, friends and business associates. And many of these have websites. There is power in linking ‘the face behind the website’ with ‘the face of the business’. By combining technology and our people skills we can generate even more interest and increase understanding. This also links to ‘corporate branding’ and ‘personal branding.’
As an example I have chosen 7 of the people I enjoy meeting with. I have given a few lines on each and then given you a link to their websites. So, have a look at the photos, read what I have said about each and then go to their websites. (So, indirectly, you’ll be networking with them, too!) You’ll be fascinated by these interesting people and the work they do. And of course, you are welcome to contact them! You won’t be disappointed! That is networking at its best!
Gary Eckstein is an excellent example of a person who combines technical expertise and people skills. His research for his MBA at a top university involved ‘e-marketing’. As a business consultant, working with a range of clients he helps develop and optimise websites. (Have a look at my website!) I believe that part of Gary’s success lies in his excellent ability to hold quality conversations. I really enjoy meeting him for coffee – we can talk for hours. He meets local clients ‘face-to-face’ and being so approachable is part of the success of his business.
Rodney Marks is a colourful character who humorously presents relevant and meaningful messages which leave an indelible impression. A Harvard graduate, he is able to provide a philosophical, yet seriously funny, approach to any topic. I have heard him speak on numerous occasions and been enthralled each time. In addition, he works in conjunction with his two sons. Benjamin is a comedy-writer and Joshua is a film-maker. A former Past President of the NSW Chapter of NSAA, and also of the national body, he has been awarded various honours for the work he performs. And these have been richly deserved. One-on-one, Rodney is also an excellent conversationalist.
Kim McGuiness inspires and motivates. Her monthly ‘Network Central’ breakfasts in the upmarket ‘Tea Room’ in the Queen Victoria Building in Sydney are a resounding success. Corporate women and business owners throng to be part of these high-powered events. As the organiser and MC Kim sets the scene in a professional, yet warm and friendly way. Her speakers shine – because she helps them to do their best! In addition to the breakfasts in Sydney and Melbourne, there are mentoring programmes that really work, and may other initiatives that she is involved in. I always enjoy having coffee with Kim, too.
Andrew O’Keeffe remains a warm and friendly guy who always seems pleased to meet for coffee despite his outstanding success and busy schedule. It has been exciting watching Andrew climb from (almost) obscurity to his current position as sought-after author and speaker. His messages are powerful about the implication of our social nature to leadership. And his link to Dr Jane Goodall and her institute adds even more depth and interest to his work. He describes ‘Hardwired Humans’ as ‘designing people strategies based on human instincts’. Well done, Andrew!
Danny Beran certainly is a ‘doctor with a difference’! His entrepreneurial approach and provocative spirit certainly dispel complacency. Conversations are of a high quality and leave me with lots to think about!
I first met Danny when he was in the process of completing his book: ‘Ten questions you must answer before you die’. As a coach my work involves conversations and asking the right questions so this was of great interest to me. His written message made a huge impact and so do our conversations. His kindness, warmth and caring reflect the essence of his book. It is a privilege to spend time with Danny.
Jan Sky is a charming, dignified and competent person who inspires confidence. There is great synergy between the work we do as Jan is also a trainer, coach, author and speaker. When we met recently for coffee, I was fascinated to hear that she has recently presented in Finland and The Netherlands. Her book, ‘The Many Parts of You’ (published in English and Finnish) has now been extended to a set of cards. These are a useful tool used to identify both inhibitive and supportive factors to positive behaviour change, helping teams and individuals to achieve their goals.
Russell Johnson was referred to me by Thevan Krishna, some-one whose friendship I value highly. So I met Russell for the first time last week at his office with a stunningly beautiful view in Sydney. Our fascinating conversation lasted over an hour. I’m intrigued by the way he combines a number of my key focus areas in helping high ranking executives to manage their careers. His programmes include coaching (to recognise and develop their own potential), personal strategy, leadership and communication skills development and of course, networking. I’m looking forward to our next conversation! In the meantime, please visit his website and study the amazing information there.
Quality conversation is important to me and I’m privileged to have positive relationships with such fascinating individuals. Visit their websites – you won’t be disappointed!