Heidi Roizen Tells You How to Mint Your Own Currency

Social Capitalist Heidi Roizen is known as Silicon Valley’s most legendary networker, but she had to build those relationships from the ground up just like anyone else. In this week’s tip she shares advice about finding and creating the currency you can offer to build a generosity-based relationship with anyone.

Heidi says:

“I do think there’s something truthful in asking the questions of any relationship you build, what do you bring to the table for that other person? What is the context of the relationship? What can you offer? Everyone has something to offer, but I think that people don’t realize it, particularly those who are just starting out.

Let’s take a situation where you want to get to know someone in your community who runs a company. Maybe you can’t do something directly for them, but maybe they’re involved in a charitable organization and you can go volunteer, work to death, and help with membership. You can go and do something. And eventually, as I find in many charitable organizations, it’s pretty easy to work your way up the ranks, if you devote some time and energy to doing it. And eventually, you will end up in a circle with that person or have an opportunity to talk to them. Continue reading

Relationship Roundup

In the roundup this week, scientific insight into our boastful nature, and some tips for calibrating our creativity, productivity, and leadership skills.

Braggadocio is our nature – Harvard University neuroscientists have recently discovered that one of the reasons our human nature leans towards talking about ourselves is because it’s just plain pleasurable. Read the Wall Street Journal article here: http://on.wsj.com/IFUTtM.

Upending hierarchy –Team Innovation is best achieved when hierarchy doesn’t impede new frames of thought. Chris Trimble, author of Reverse Innovation: Create Far From Home, Win Everywhere, shares how building teams for innovation requires less structure and more open communication and creativity. Read the Harvard Business Review blog here: http://bit.ly/JTUEKS.

Productivity and value – Adding value to your organization means being as productive as possible in the areas where the company needs it most. This isn’t always reflected in our to-do-lists for the day. In his blog, Josh Linkner pushes us to evaluate our value added activity and refocus on those things that mean more to the success of the business and our personal growth. Read Josh’s blog here: http://bit.ly/L3h1EI.

Email efficiency – It’s a common challenge and none of us are immune to the email overload creep. The more resources you have for managing it the better. Peter Bregman, author of 18 Minutes: Find Your Focus, Master Distraction, and Get the Right Things Done shares his tips for managing email overwhelm. Read the Harvard Business Review blog here: http://bit.ly/JTY7Ju.

Leadership skills – Elevating to the C-Suite involves adopting an entirely different level of skills and qualifications. eCoach and consultant Dana Theus calls it the “invisible resume”. Register for her upcoming webinar to learn more about building executive presence. Read the SmartBrief blog and sign up here: http://bit.ly/IT3AQS.

Kibibi Springs is myGreenlight’s Community Director.

How to Advance Your Career, Stand Out as a Leader, and Like Your Life

While corporate trailer blazer turned business owner Patty Azzarello and I were chatting after our recent Social Capitalist Skills Session, I asked her the question that I had run out of time for during the interview: Did her collaborative, relationship-centric leadership style – the secrets of which she shares in her book Rise: 3 Practical Steps for Advancing Your Career, Standing Out as a Leader, and Liking Your Life – strike her as a more female than male model for getting things done? While she acknowledged that women are hard-wired to communicate problems and find solutions in their social networks, she also laughed at the question: “The fact is that most of the tactics I share in Rise I learned from men.”

Whatever its origins, Patty’s social and collaborative approach happens to be widely heralded as the one best suited to the digital economy’s rapidly changing workplace – and workforce. As previous Social Capitalist guests John Hagel and John Seely Brown have written about in The Power of Pull, a strong internal network is key to leveraging informal learning. Nothing is more important to individual and corporate success in today’s constantly changing economy – so listen up!

You’ll hear more about Patty in the interview – and meanwhile here’s a few takeaways from the lessons she passed on, gleaned from a career that took her from Hewlett-Packard’s youngest GM to the head of a $1 billion software business to CEO at 38:

  • Why “follow your passion” can be career – and soul – destroying advice, and what to do instead;
  • The two-step personal branding secret that quickly established her husband as a superstar at his new company;
  • How the world’s most respected executives make it seem like they know all the answers, even when they don’t.

Call run time is just over 30 minutes. Download it to iTunes and take it on your next commute! Click here to get the transcript: Social Capitalist – Patty Azzarello.

Sara Grace is myGreenlight’s Program Director.

7 Ways to Develop Employees into Digital Storytellers to Boost Their Skills AND Your Company’s Resources

Guest post by Halelly Azulay, TalentGrow

Developing motivated, competent employees is critical to the success of every organization. However, most managers today find themselves both time-bound and budget-strapped. You can’t really send employees to training or online classes for every development need. Did you know that organic development opportunities can be found all around your workplace?

One creative and immediately available way to develop your staff outside the training classroom and “outside the box” is to turn them into what I call “Digital Storytellers”: send them on roving reporter missions. Let them digitally capture (by audio or video recording) hot stories from the frontlines, from customers, or from star performers, about difficult challenges they’ve overcome, or about workarounds and new ideas, and share them with the rest of the organization.

Here are a few ideas for content to get you started:

  1. Peer Stories. Peers feature their peers’ stories of success, lessons learned, problems solved, questions and challenges they want input about, gratitude, quandaries, and other “teachable moments.” Continue reading

Fifty Shades of Success

Do you recognize this quote?

“Business is all about people, Miss Steele, and I’m very good at judging people. I know how they tick, what makes them flourish, what doesn’t, what inspires them, and how to incentivize them…I have a natural gut instinct that can spot and nurture a good solid idea and good people. The bottom line is it’s always down to good people…having the right people on your team and directing their energies accordingly. I think it was Harvey Firestone who said ‘the growth and development of people is the highest calling of leadership.’”

If you do, you’ve succumbed (as I did) to the national furor around the risqué book Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James. You’re caught!

I’ve only read to page 70, but unfortunately it’s already clear that the character who says those words, sexual improprieties aside, fails at what we consider one of the most fundamental rules of good relationships: Intimacy.

In other words, this is definitely not an endorsement! But the humor in finding a “myGreenlight” sounding quote in such an unlikely source made it worth passing on.

Ritu Walia is MyGreenlight’s Member Coordinator.

Be Honest About What You Want and You Just Might Get It

Sometimes the line from what you are doing right now to what you wish you were doing is not a straight one. During his Social Capitalist interview with Never Eat Alone co-author Tahl Raz, James Altucher shared a story about how, rather than attempting to map that path on the sly, coming clean about what you really want can be the best way to make it happen.

Everybody who works in a company should be thinking in this way that I’m describing. Sincere voices always rise to the top. And if they don’t, then that’s not the business for you to be in. When I worked at HBO, the television network, I was a junior programmer in the IT department. But what I really wanted to do was have a TV show. So first, I pitched to them special things I thought they should do on their website that I could do which sort of seemed like TV shows. And then I pitched directly to their television department: “Here’s an idea I would like to do for your television show.” Then they give me the opportunity to do it. They paid me to do a pilot. Continue reading

Relationship Roundup

This week in the roundup, a few ways to challenge yourself to get out of your shell, manage difficult tasks, and put your relationships on the right track. Get growing.

Rough relationships – Part of gaining greater relationships is learning to constructively resolve conflict. In this CBS MoneyWatch article, Robert Pagliarini outlines six steps to resolve conflict. Read them here: http://cbsn.ws/JtzB1q.

1-2-3-4 goal! – We all like shortcuts. Learn four quick steps to hurdle the goals in your life here: http://cbsn.ws/JNfL7i.

Are you eating alone? – Your computer is not the lunch date we had in mind when we said “never eat alone.” Shared meal times are great for information sharing and possibly meeting new people in the office. As the author of 168 Hours shares in this article, splitting lunch time between efficiency and socializing provides the right balance for a healthy work life. Read more here: http://cbsn.ws/KmWu7t.

Learn to network better than Bill Clinton – Former guest to myGreenlight’s Social Capitalist series, author and executive coach Christine Comaford, shares her secrets on generous networking and the palm up theory. Read her Forbes blog here: http://onforb.es/JrXdZX.

Embarrassment as accountability – While this method is certainly unorthodox, I can’t help but be curious about its ability to motivate. A new leisure site Aherk aims to motivate the completion of tasks by blackmailing users with a Facebook post of an embarrassing photo if they miss the mark. Read more here: http://bit.ly/Jd92V9.

Kibibi Springs is myGreenlight’s Community Director.

Take on Your Professional Goals

Prepare to break the ceiling on your professional goals using the mental and physical strategies and tactics of the U.S. Navy SEALs with the transcript and audio from Mark Divine’s Social Capitalist interview.

Mark Divine, CEO of SEALFIT, NavySEALs.com, and US CrossFit, is the leader in providing civilians with mental toughness training and Navy SEAL-level fitness. His insights into elite fitness, elite teams, leadership, mental toughness, and warrior spirit development were developed during his 20 years as a SEAL and business leader, 25 years as a martial artist, and 15 years as yoga practitioner. Mark is also a former adjunct professor of leadership at the University of San Diego, and a co-founder of the Coronado Brewing Co.

During the interview Mark discussed how to: Fine tune teamwork and accountability to drive excellence; forge the mental toughness that creates strong presence and leadership; maintain your “positive charge,” not just emotionally, but physically; and to develop your inner “corporate warrior” to excel in all areas of your life.

Click here for the audio and transcript.

I’m a Fraud – Are You?

I interviewed corporate-trailblazer-turned-business-owner Patty Azzarello this week for the Social Capitalist (transcript to come soon!) and I particularly loved this quote:

“People who achieve success are willing to be scared and uncomfortable to do it. If you try to build your career and be comfortable and confident that you know everything along the way, it just takes too long. You just cannot get there. What I realized is that all executives are bluffing. This actually came to me through an executive coach. I was confessing, ‘You know, I feel like I’m going to get found out, because I don’t know everything.’ And she just laughed at me. She said, ‘Patty, every executive in the world feels the same way.’ And I was like, ‘Really?’ And then I realized, ‘Man, is that ever true.’”

I think this is particularly great advice for women. As Jodi Glickman, another previous SC guest, once told me, “Women tend to round down. Men round up. It’s time to round up.”

In other words, sometimes it’s OK for a little bit of confidence to float the gap between our expertise and our vision. We don’t have to have done something 100 times already to feel we have the right to stand up and say, “I can do this.”

When your work takes you to new places, you’re not a fraud. You’re a bright, intrepid do-er who can roll with a hefty dose of learning. The key is to make sure you’ve got the tenacity, the persistence, and most importantly, the right partners, to follow through with excellence.

Sara Grace is myGreenlight’s Program Director.

Three Terrific Young Bloggers

Did you know that 53.3 percent of the blogging population is between 21-35 years old?

Here are three terrific bloggers that are at the younger end of that age group, in their early- to mid-20s:

  1. Matt Cheuvront of Life without Pants shares “the message that defines the metaphor behind life without pants – that life, both personal and professional, must ultimately be approached without restrictions.” This blog is able to capture those amazing moments of candor and reflection that we all have and make them an enjoyable read that is relatable and provocative.
  2. Jeff Goins of GoinsWriter.com introduces himself with, “I love compelling stories, worthy causes, and Pez candy. I’ve been writing for most of my life and started this blog in 2010.” With a very honest and no-BS writing style, this blog can be truly inspiring and make you finally take the leap into your next project.
  3. Grace Boyle of Small Hands, Big Ideas offers ” ideas and life as a woman in a tech startup, daily inspirations, career, moving, relationships, and ideas as a 20-something.” Grace wants to change the world, one word at a time.

Have you noticed a trend in the age of the bloggers you read? How does that affect your view of the blog? Please share!

Ritu Walia is myGreenlight’s Member Coordinator.