A Quick, Free Tool to Get Your Network in Shape

Welcome to my readers from Tip of the Week! Thanks for stopping by. Over the next few weeks, I’ll be sharing some of my favorite downloads from myGreenlight’s library of hundreds of tools, videos, and coaching calls.

Starting with….our Networking Diagnostic. This tool, adapted from the work of Brian Uzzi and Shannon Dunlap in Harvard Business Review, helps you analyze your top 25 contacts to determine whether you’re making typical networking mistakes. Are you nurturing your superconnectors? Is your network dense enough? Too dense?

To get the free worksheet, just click here to download it.

Here’s what a few myGreenlight members said about using it:

“You can use the diagnostic repeatedly against different sets of goals, or as circumstances change.”

“It absolutely helped me to structure my network, to think about the right prioritization, and to set new goals.”

“It made me think and create a detailed list of focal points to organize my future networking.”

Let us know what insights the worksheet turns up for you in the comments!

Be One of a Kind

Standing out in a myriad of applicants or even as an employee is often hard to achieve. That’s why it’s important to make your LinkedIn profile and resume different from the rest. You want something that catches the eye, something that makes people remember you, something that projects your individual brand.

This recent LinkedIn press release lists some of the surprising words that are overused on the site. They aren’t what you would expect, so make sure you’re not one of many by reading through your profile after taking a look:

1.    Creative
2.    Organizational
3.    Effective
4.    Extensive experience
5.    Track record
6.    Motivated
7.    Innovative
8.    Problem solving
9.    Communication skills
10.    Dynamic

“Competition for opportunities can be fierce, so craft your LinkedIn Profile and resume to stand out from the professional pack,” said Nicole Williams, LinkedIn’s Connection Director. “Use language that illustrates your unique professional accomplishments and experiences. Give concrete examples of results you’ve achieved whenever possible and reference attributes that are specific to you.”

If you’re a myGreenlight member, take some time to listen to this coaching call, with program director Sara Grace and special guest Michael Margolis, author and storytelling consultant to get the tips you need to reinvent your bio to compel new contacts to connect.

What are some of the most overused words in your office? Please share!

Ritu Walia is myGreenlight’s Member Coordinator.

Mini Mission Monday

Go through your phone book, call people and ask them to drive you to the airport. The ones who will drive you are your true friends.The rest aren’t bad people; they’re just acquaintances. – Jay Leno

Here’s a question for you.

When was the last time you gave someone new the chance to move up the ranks to become a true friend? There are no documented promotion criteria to move up the friendship ladder. Sometimes you just have to take a risk and give someone the chance to step up for you.

Your Mission:  Look through your to-do list or calendar for an activity/event where you need back-up from a friend. A ride. A recommendation. A wingman for an event. Think beyond your go-to friends and give someone new a chance to be there for you. It might feel like a stretch, but chances are good that he/she will want to help, and just making the gesture to ask can move a relationship to the next level.

Let us know what you asked and how it went.

How a Program Manager Moves Mountains with Meatball Subs

Our featured community member guest post is from Nick Pietrocarlo, Senior Manager of Technology Revitalization with Royal Caribbean Cruises, Ltd., Co-Chair of the South Florida Chapter of TENG (Technology Executive Networking Group), and an PgMP, PMP, and MBA. He can be reached at nick@pietrocarlo.com – KS

I grew up in a small rust belt neighborhood in South Buffalo, New York where most of the workers were motivated by free turkeys at Thanksgiving and an extra $50 in their paycheck at Christmas. When I was in school discovering what a computer was, my father used to bring donuts to the dispatchers at work before he started his shift as a taxi driver. His hopes were to motivate the dispatchers to send the better fares his way so he could accomplish his goals of achieving a high earnings day. He soon became known as ‘Donut Nick’ to peers and supervisors.

It was ironic decades later when I found myself using food to help motivate the team to achieve the desired results in my own profession as a Program Manager. Times have changed though and the folks I work with today do seem to prefer meatball subs, Cuban sandwiches, or pizza as opposed to donuts.

Scientifically we know food is converted to energy which drives our bodies and in our society we see food bonding people in various ways. Through religious ceremonies, fund raising or other networking events, or simply parent-baby bonding.
Food can certainly be a great motivator for the team. Whether it is a tight schedule, small budget, or vague scope, feeding and nurturing the team certainly helps them achieve great things. A few months ago a team member even called me ‘Donut Nick’ after I brought a few dozen donuts to work that day.

In times like these when raises are scarce and bonuses are even scarcer, it is also important to remember how little things like food can spark the motivation of the team to work better and more efficiently together. Not just to accomplish the goals of the project but also to consistently strive and successfully achieve the goals of the company. In many cases a Program Manager can become very fixated on cost, schedule, and scope without realizing that without the people none of the points of this triangle would even matter.

As a Program Manager I regularly challenge my peers to consider how the people are often the core foundation of the critical path on all projects. America may run on Dunkin(TM), but projects run on people. As we know people don’t just ensure the success of the project, they also ensure the future success of the company. On your way to work tomorrow try picking up a few dozen donuts for the team or a round of meatball subs for lunch and you will see what I mean. I guarantee it!

The Greenlight Highlight: How a Marketing Development Manager’s Mastery of the Relationship Mindsets Boosts his Business and Career Opportunities

Saul Marquez
Marketing Development Manager for NuVasive
Chicago, IL
Greenlight Member Since: 2010
Nominated by Greenlighter – Mark Jewell

Elevator Pitch: I want to be the best at everything that I do, live life purposefully and help others do the same. I work diligently in the advancement of spinal procedures and minimally disruptive spine procedures. I work with surgeons across the U.S. to make back surgery less painful and with quicker recovery.

What experience in your past was the moment you recognized how important relationships are to your success?

The one that sticks out immediately is my speech team experience in college. As the competition season unrolled a head-scratcher was revealed. It wasn’t always the best speech that won the prize and I started to see a trend among the recurring winners. They were always the same people hanging out with the judges and those who knew them by first name. I realized I needed to figure that out if I wanted to win. I started making a greater effort to rub shoulders with the decision makers and by the end of the second season, I was in the winners’ pool. I learned that those wins by others were not unearned. They had taken the time to prepare to connect with the audience. I learned that the real point of getting to know the judges was about creating intimacy with the audience and making a connection to pave the way for my presentation. Continue reading

The Wisdom of Worst-Practices

“I’ve often felt there might be more to be gained by studying business failures than business successes. In my business, we try to study where people go astray and why things don’t work.” -Warren Buffet, 1991

With the end of January approaching, I suspect I will be the very last person to wish you a Happy New Year in 2012. While I hope this will be a great year for all of you, let’s not close the door on 2011 without some collective reflection – which brings me to an interesting observation.

In work, like life, the essence of adaptive change is learning, and the most useful and transformative learning stems from the recognition and analysis of our failures.
While success has lessons to teach, we have the ability to learn far more from those unpleasant moments when we’ve inadvertently lost the plot.

As salespeople, we often interact with individuals and corporations who wish to benchmark themselves and their organizations against world-class firms and apply those new found best practices to their own set of circumstances.  I have been asked to discuss emerging trends and best practices more times than I can possibly remember. However, in 20 years, I’ve never had one single interaction when someone asked me to share my thoughts on worst-practices. Continue reading

Don’t Be That Person – Avoid Etiquette Goof-Ups

The Internet has integrated all of our worlds – professional, social, personal. This is great because coworkers and even bosses seem more human. Of course this is also terrible, as every status update and comment reach every corner of our world. As in the classic Seinfeld conflict of “relationship George” vs “independent George” – all of your different facets are forced to co-exist in cyberspace, which can be a dangerous situation.

To avoid the repercussions that may result from this small world, PC World Business Center gives us Facebook Etiquette: Five Dos and Don’ts.  This article offers great tips on how to make your profile picture, tone, biography, and content suitable for all the different areas of your life, both professional and personal. One key takeaway is the importance of a “polite and measured tone” even on more relaxed sites like Facebook. Social media is too public to truly let your digital hair down.

You should also approach LinkedIn carefully. The Social Times published the top LinkedIn Etiquette Tips. LinkedIn is primarily a professional networking tool, and should be used as such. “Make sure your updates are helpful information about your company or profession. LinkedIn is not Twitter or Facebook. ‘Less is more’ applies to this particular platform. Keep the updates to a minimum.” Updates should be focused on valuable information such as sharing articles, video, or event announcements.

I personally use the embarrassment test. I think, “Would I be okay with my parents, grandparents, and boss reading this?” before I post something, and only post if the answer is a solid yes.

What are your rules in etiquette in social media, particularly when using it for professional networking? What is an absolute no-no in your opinion? Share your stories!

Ritu Walia is myGreenlight’s Member Coordinator.

Mini Mission Monday

As they say, “time flies when you are having fun.”  They should probably also say, “accomplishments rack up faster than you can update your profiles.”  Although that doesn’t sound nearly as poetic.

Your Mission:

Go to LinkedIn and update your profile with your latest accomplishments.  Make sure it represents you in the best, most current light.  Consider keywords and what you want your personal brand to stand for.

Relationship Roundup

This week in the roundup, tips on diversifying your influence style, how “NO” can help clear your plate for the important, connecting in the future, and the new connected consumer.

Diversify your influence style – Learning different styles of influence can help you bring others on board to important projects and initiatives. Read the HBR Blog here http://bit.ly/yrbj2d.

Find your inner NO – In the past year business trends have explored the concept of slowing down (slower production, slow growing) and now we’re being told to even slow down our own pace and say, “No” to some things. This is not an attempt to disrupt “business as usual” but rather to reinstate quality of production and in the case of our personal selves, greater quality of productiveness. Read Tony Schwartz HBR blog to learn the Four Practices to Re-prioritize Your Life. http://bit.ly/yPhnK1.

Relating in the future – The top 20 predictions for what life might be like in the next 100 years is a fascinating projection of our potential as a human race. How many new ways will we be connecting with others in the future? Take it with a grain of salt, after all, we’ve yet to see the arrival of that flying car the Jetson’s promised us in 2012. Read the BBC article here http://bbc.in/ysqIX3.

The new connected consumer – The marketing industry is acknowledging the power of the digitally savvy consumer and learning their unique purchasing patterns. Fast Company expert blogger Brian Solis and author of The End of Business as Usual explains how to identify and relate to this emerging consumer market http://bit.ly/wGCJB6.

Kibibi Springs is myGreenlight’s Community Director.

Giving as a Business Strategy

Speaker, writer, strategist, Dan Waldschmidt is at war with conventional business strategy. His Edgy Conversations© have turned hundreds of companies into rock-star businesses and the Wall Street Journal calls his blog one of the” Top 7 sales blogs” anywhere in the world. He’s on a mission to empower millions of high-performers all over the globe. For more information about Waldschmidt Partners Intl, go to www.EdgyConversations.com or call at 202-630-6730.

We’re pretty good at giving.

Especially when it’s convenient or socially popular.

We give when it’s easy to give.

And that’s not blaming anyone or pointing the finger at somewhat irrelevant Christmas Cards.

That’s just how we’re wired.

Our brains are massive “Risk/Reward Calculators”.

We carefully assess each giving opportunity (sometimes without even “thinking” about it) and decide how to behave based on how big the prize is for us. Continue reading