We’ve all had experiences where we desperately needed to meet someone important to pitch a project, share an idea, or just get to know them. Most of us don’t rub elbows everyday with leaders at the top of their game, so when the opportunity comes, we need to act. But the truth is, when that door opens, most of us blow it. We stumble, pull back, become afraid, or otherwise don’t take advantage of the opportunity that could change our future. To make sure you seize the moment next time you meet an influencer, here’s some key points to remember:
In many ways, the most important advantage a person has in the workplace are relationships. In the past, “networking” was about taking advantage – what other people can do for me. But today, networking is about helping other people because it’s the right thing to do. Whether you believe in God, Karma, or random chance, the truth is, when you help others achieve their dreams, they can help achieve yours. But when it comes to the mentors and allies you have at work, here some important principles to remember:
In my twenties I was working for a production company that created prime time TV specials. You find out pretty quick with network television that deadlines matter. You simply don’t miss them or you’re out of a job. As a result, I spent a lot of time back then pulling all-nighters, editing shows that had to get out. I thought I’d get some sympathy from my wife (then my girlfriend) and my other friends by droning on and on about being up all night, not getting any sleep, and how tired I was. Guess what?
Early in my career, a high level executive and mentor gave me a piece of advice I’ve never forgotten: “Care about a client’s kids, and they’ll be your client for life.” I was reminded of that on Friday night when Kathleen and I visited with Mark Jeske, Milwaukee pastor and speaker from Time of Grace Ministries. Mark was speaking at an event in LA, and we went over to his hotel to catch up. Once we sat down, one of his first questions was about our daughters: “How are Kelsey and Bailey?” Mark has only met Bailey once briefly, and never Kelsey. But it was the
When it comes to networking, I’m a big believer. The simple truth is that people enjoy working with other people they know and like. But meeting important or influential people in your field is difficult, and when the opportunity comes, it’s tough knowing how to act. I used to worry about finding the balance between being perceived as a stalker or being perceived as uninterested. At parties, conference, or other events, I really struggled with how to conduct myself with a VIP that I really wanted to meet. If you ever find yourself in that situation, here’s a few tips that can make a real difference: