Mini Mission Monday – Happy Halloween!

Just last week we talked a bit here about leveraging holidays as opportunities to reach out to people within your network. And here we are on a bona fide holiday!  Ready to practice?

Your Mission:

Think of some way to acknowledge the Halloween holiday during your workday.  Some ideas:

  • Bring treats for your co-workers – candy (of course), or some other sweet.  This is a day to ditch the diets and indulge a bit.
  • Ask about weekend celebrations – parties, trick-or-treat events.  People love to talk about their kids and this is a perfect opening.
  • Send holiday greetings – wish them a frightfully good evening, ask how they are celebrating, share your own plans.
Do you have any other ideas for leveraging the holiday to increase intimacy within your circle?

The Greenlight Highlight: Marketing and Sales Success

The Greenlight Highlight is myGreenlight’s monthly community member spotlight interview. On the last Friday of every month, the Highlight features a community member who has reaped the benefits from building mutually rewarding relationships and captures the essence of relationship mastery.

Allow us to introduce…

Lorena Bin de Galvez
Director Marketing & Sales / Partner, Dimensus/Logrelo
Greenlight Member Since: July, 2010
Interviewed via Skype from…Guatemala, Mexico
30-Second Elevator Pitch: I am passionate about helping industries and companies take their marketing and communications beyond the promotional cycle to create messages that express passion and address what their customer really want and need.

Favorite relationship mastery mindset and why?
Generosity.  Asking others how I can help them allows me to share my passion. That has been a powerful mindset shift for me.  Helping others has opened many doors to other introductions. Since starting my business a year ago, I have not had to invest in marketing. Leading with generosity has brought word of mouth referrals that keep leading to new business opportunities.  In my first year of business I made about $15,000.  Since I’ve begun focusing on my relationship approach, my business has brought in $50,000 this year and 70% of the proposals I’ve submitted from referrals have landed me new accounts.

When did it first click that relationships profoundly affect your success in business?
I used to work for large multinational corporations like Shell, Quaker Oats. I worked hard, I achieved my goals and I was always well rated. Other people in the company were getting better jobs than I was being offered and I didn’t understand why.  When I changed my work and started working as a marketing manager for a well-known Guatemalan real estate company, it clicked for me that internationally relationships are key to everything, relationships open doors. One day in 2006, I was in a Borders airport and I picked up Never Eat Alone. That was the piece that changed my entire outlook.… What I do today doesn’t feel like work. I’m helping others and giving value with what I do best.

How has putting a thoughtful process around relationship development benefited your business?
It’s made me focus on adding value to others. I was doing that before, but not with a disciplined or thoughtful approach. The Relationship Action Plan provided clarity on my purpose for nurturing the relationships in my network.  Before, I wasn’t sure that what I was doing was really helping.  The study and application of the mindsets has garnered success for my business that proves this approach works. Continue reading

Former FBI Interrogator Joe Navarro Teaches How to Read Every BODY

If you could see me now, you’d see that my head is slightly tilted and my hands are clasped, and I’ve got a pleasant smile going with a gaze that’s gently focusing on you. You couldn’t hate me if you tried! With my head tilt exposing my neck just so, your unconscious limbic system is yelling, “Oooooh, la, la. This guy makes me feel so comfortable!”

Non-verbal communication is as powerful a tool as language itself, whether it comes to creating immediate rapport, maximizing your influence or reading other people to discover their true intentions. That’s what Joe Navarro learned how to do during his 25 years in the FBI interrogating suspected criminals, spies and terrorists.

As one of the original founding members of the FBI’s Behavioral Analysis Program, Navarro mastered his ability to read non-verbal body language. When he retired in 2003, he discovered his expertise and skills could be taught and benefit everyone from professional poker players to executives who wanted an extra edge. Since then, he has authored numerous books including the now-classic, What Everybody Is Saying.

In our interview Navarro shared his incredible insights. Here’s a small sampling:

They Might Lie, But Their Limbic System Tells The Truth

“Our needs, feelings, thoughts, emotions, and intentions are processed elegantly by the brain’s limbic system. It doesn’t have to think, it just reacts to the world in real time and our bodies show how we feel. Someone gives us bad news and our lips compress; the bus leaves without us and we are clenching our jaws and rubbing our necks. We are asked to work another weekend and the orbits of our eyes narrow as our chin lowers. These are discomfort displays that our limbic brain has perfected over millions of years, whether we are in China or Chile.” Continue reading

Does Your Success Require a College Education?

My parents, both of whom earned master’s degrees and were front and center in my school’s PTA, taught me that some of the best learning opportunities are outside the classroom – for example, when they let me skip class to visit a local criminal trial in 8th grade. Though I loved school, I was still anxious to finish college early and find ways to learn that I would not only be paid for, but that would have some use beyond my GPA. Some of the brightest, most successful people I know today are autodidacts, high school and college dropouts. And in my work with myGreenlight, I’m part of a rapidly evolving world of online learning options that lets individuals close self-identified skills gaps affordably and on-demand.

All this is to say that I’ve been thrilled and excited by recent public debate around the value (and cost) of higher education. The conversation has been fueled by economists (e.g. Richard K. Vedder of Ohio University and Robert I. Lerman of American University); by venture capitalists and entrepreneurs (Peter Thiel and Seth Godin); by online educators  (startups like Udemy and sprawling organizations like the University of Phoenix) and by writers — most recently, Michael Ellsberg, whose new book The Education of Millionaires (recently discussed in his myG Social Capitalist interview and you can get a free first chapter at his site) seeks to teach vital success skills in sales, networking, and self-marketing that are neglected by university degree programs.

This week, Michael’s book provoked a tart review in Time, which Michael then rebutted in The New York Times.

Vartan Gregorian, president of the Carnegie Corporation and a former leader in several top universities, writes in Time that he welcomes “the kind of robust debate about the value of higher education that this book may engender.”

Unfortunately he doesn’t use his space in Time to contribute to that debate. Continue reading

This is Your Brain on Facebook. Any Questions?

There’s a link between the size of certain parts of our brains and the number of friends that we have on Facebook, according to recent studies reported in this article.  This discovery only indicates a correlation however, not a cause-effect relationship. It’s hard to say, reports Reuters, whether “having more Facebook connections makes particular parts of the brain larger or whether some people are simply pre-disposed, or ‘hard-wired,’ to have more friends.”

Online social networks are so novel that it’s hard to say what kind of effect they have on us. Four parts of the brain were discovered to be larger when a person had more friends – but interestingly enough, “the thickness of grey matter in the amygdala was also linked to the number of real-world friends people had, but the size of the other three regions appeared to be correlated only to online connections.”

Could that be an indication our online relationships cause different reactions in our brains than the real world ones? What do you think? Do you treat online friendships differently?

Ritu Walia is myGreenlight’s Member Coordinator.

Mini Mission Monday

The holiday season is approaching, and while sending greetings during the “busy season” is surely appropriate and appreciated, it is hard to stand out from the crowd at a time when airwaves and mailboxes are packed full.

One of Keith Ferrazzi’s special tactics is to send Thanksgiving greetings, to thank contacts for their impact on his life and business, as well as to reach out during a less busy time.

Your Mission:

Check out this list of obscure holidays and see if there are some that align well with your contacts.  You could stand out by being the only person to ask a colleague to join you for lunch on Sandwich Day (Nov 3), or treating the office on National Chocolate Covered Anything Day (Dec 16).  At the very least, you can have a fun debate over whether it is actually necessary to have an entire National Soup Month (January).

Also consider: for Groundhog Day – use the holiday to get people to think about what their next quarter will bring – and how to make it a great one.  Or even for Valentine’s Day – take advantage of the date to tell people how much they matter (no roses required).

Relationship Roundup

This week in the Relationship Roundup, examples from brands that are getting social and tips for getting more personal with your brand.

Follow the Masters – myGreenlight member and Intel’s resident social media expert @Ekaterina share the top 5 executives who know how to maximize their brand with social media.

Upping the social ante – Social Living and Twitter are working in partnership to make sharing deals through Living Socials mobile app easier than ever.

Hiring for Social Intelligence – The word is out that technical business skills without social intelligence can make all the difference in a leaders success.

Blogging Your Brand – Thanks @dgupta5150 for sharing this Hub Spot blog for making your business blog the best it can be.

Start with Relationships –  This Forbes article outlines why it’s critical for startups to put relationships front and center in their success plan.

Kibibi Springs is myGreenlight’s Community Manager

How Legendary Silicon Valley Networker Heidi Roizen Gets Lucky

Before there was Keith Ferrazzi, for me at least, there was Heidi Roizen.  It was about eight years ago when I was a cub reporter for Inc. magazine and I’d read the Malcolm Gladwell profile, “The Six Degrees of Lois Weisberg,” which gave name to those rare types who seem to know everyone and who apply that knowledge to generate a seemingly endless torrent of opportunity.

Lois was a master of creating and managing social capital. Gladwell called such people connectors. He wrote that these connectors’ skill was so distinct and valuable, so vital to any environment dependent on the free-flow exchange of information and skill (which is to say every environment populated by humans) that in some oblique way they run the world. And then, in what seemed at the time a needlessly taunting postscript directed personally at me, Gladwell hypothesized that connectors were born that way. That this powerful skill was innate.

That last part was particularly troubling to me as I had just come to recognize two unsavory realities for an ambitious young man intent on becoming a big success: the reality that a lot of the big successes I was encountering in those days seemed kind of like Lois and the reality that I was nothing like her. What I lacked in sociability, however, I made up for in angry obstinacy. I decided I’d challenge Gladwell’s hypothesis.

The simple plan was to find other Lois Weisberg-types and try to extract a common set of rules and principles by which these people navigate the world. If I could do that, then those rules and principles could be taught. Maybe the only truly helpful documents I discovered early in my research was a Harvard Business Review case study on a woman named Heidi Roizen, the subject of this month’s Social Capitalist interview.

One of the few female power players in Silicon Valley at the time, she had started and sold a successful tech company, become an executive at Apple and then a well-known venture capitalist.  She called both Bill Gates and Steve Jobs friends and was known to have one of the deepest, most extensive networks in the Valley.  She was undoubtedly a connector, and unlike anything else I found, the case study laid out some strategies for how Roizen operates. It convinced me that I was on the right track. Continue reading

Yes, Successful Selling IS About Relationships

As the sales leader of a company that empowers both organizations and professionals to enhance their relational capital, my jaw dropped recently when I read the title of very interesting HBR Blog post: Selling Is Not About Relationships. Judging by how quickly the blog approached 200 comments, authors Matthew Dixon and Brent Adamson clearly struck not just my nerve by challenging the role of relationship-building in successful selling.

However, upon review of the article we are a lot closer to agreement than the provocative headline would ever suggest.

Each week I speak with a handful of Sales VPs, as well as multiple C-Level executives across the Fortune 500.  A common denominator of those discussions is the importance of establishing meaningful connections both within an organization itself, and of course externally with influential professionals across an entire value chain – clients, prospects, suppliers. Whether analyzing a new-hire’s speed to efficacy during the onboarding process, long-term employee retention, or the quantifiable impact on a sales person’s job performance, one’s ability to establish meaningful relationships translates into success.

So what to make of this study? Having examined 100 companies and 6,000 reps, Dixon and Adamson conclude that every sales professional falls into one of five distinct profiles and is characterized by a specific set of skills and behaviors that highlights the rep’s primary mode of interacting with customers. Those falling into the Challenger category dominated the list of high performers while Relationship Builders came in last.

And it is right at this point that my position actually aligns with theirs. Relationship Builders as defined are those who “focus on developing strong personal and professional relationships and advocates across the customer organization.” While Challengers “use their deep understanding of their customers’ business to push their thinking and take control of the sales conversation. They’re not afraid to share even potentially controversial views…” Continue reading

Is There Value to “‘No Boys Allowed” Networking?

We have all heard the phrase “old boys’ network” and many of us have seen it in action. While the workforce has changed much over the past decades, this preconceived networking bias still impacts many professional women.

The good news is, woman have found workarounds via more structured networking opportunities than beer pong in the sports bar around the corner. (I don’t know about where you live, but you see a lot of that in New York…)

According to an LA Times article from earlier this year,  “Female business owners — who sometimes have to work around entrenched, old-boy networks in order to expand their businesses — have found networking events to be particularly valuable.” Carmen Rad, the president of her digital printing company says, “There is a tremendous advantage to joining, and you can’t just join one. You need to join more than one because each organization will have a different added value.”

Recently, women-only networking has re-surged, particularly in tech fields, in an effort to compensate for the potential gender setback. But not everyone sees this as a positive trend. Continue reading