Networking Takeaways from “Madmen”

“Madmen” fans: Have you ever found yourself at work asking, “What would Don Draper do?” (Hopefully you’re not asking yourself that when it comes to his personal life…)

My favorite professional takeaway from “Madmen” so far is actually a networking tip you can learn from Don or from Peggy: They both recognized early on that even though they were hyper-talented, they needed relationships to advance their careers, and did a great job developing them.

Don pushed his way into the world of advertising by stalking the well-connected Roger Sterling. This is interesting, since if anything their lasting relationship dynamic is as peers. They each know they bring something important to the table—Don, his talent, and Roger, his upper-crust network. Roger isn’t so much a mentor as a connector, although he does still sometimes school Don on the finer points of business relationship savvy. Continue reading

Next Week: Keith Ferrazzi and LinkedIn Founder Reid Hoffman LIVE

On Tuesday, June 12 at 12:30pm ET, join Keith Ferrazzi, CEO of Ferrazzi Greenlight, in conversation with Reid Hoffman, founder of LinkedIn and author of The Start-up of You: Adapt to the Future, Invest in Yourself, and Transform Your Career, at this month’s Social Capitalist Live Event.

Register here for the live Webex event!

During the lively, 45-minute discussion with audience Q&A, you’ll learn:

  • The backstory: how and why Reid launched LinkedIn
  • How thinking like a Silicon Valley entrepreneur enhances success in any career
  • How Reid personally leverages his LinkedIn page
  • The keys to maximizing your network literacy, the ability to conceptualize, access, and benefit from the information flowing through your social network

…And much, much more! If you can’t make it, register anyway – we’ll send you a recording and transcript afterwards.

What people are saying about The Start-up of You:

“The Internet has fundamentally changed the architecture of business and society. This terrific book shows you how to live, learn, and thrive in a networked world.”

“Crammed with insights and strategies to help each of us create the work life we want.”

“…start with an idea and work over your entire career to adapt it into something remarkable. This book distills the key techniques needed to succeed.”

See you there!

Relationship Roundup

This week in the roundup: some suggestions for getting relationships off to a great start, managing relationship priorities, and picking the right atmosphere to develop them.

When to sever a relationship – One of my favorite statements about relationships is, “a reason, a season and a lifetime”. As our lives change so do our needs for our relationships, including those that serve as mentors. In this Harvard Business Review article, some relevant tips for establishing goals that monitor when a relationship is past its prime. Read the tips here http://bit.ly/I9KLLK.

Social contracts – Negotiating the terms of relationships at work are a smart way of ensuring that cultural values are adhered to in the workplace. In this HBR Blog, authors Christine M. Riordan and Kevin O’Brien from the University of Denver share some great resources to implement expectations within your organization. Read the blog here http://bit.ly/JfZ2am.

Extraordinary sightings – If you seek an extraordinary boss, or aspire to be one, this Inc. magazine article explores the eight traits that successful CEO’s have implemented to build great teams. Read the article here http://bit.ly/IregYK.

Investing in People – I can’t get enough of Big Think and SmartBrief’s partnership to bring great ideas from industry leaders front and center. In their latest episode of the VIP Corner, Jim Quigley, the senior partner and former CEO of Deloitte shares his thoughts on why companies need to invest in their people. Read and view it here http://bit.ly/K63Ufn.

Relationship atmosphere – If you’ve ever taken Keith Ferrazzi’s advice on initiating a long slow dinner and using meal time to advance relationship intimacy, you know that atmosphere is a key attribute to consider when making a restaurant selection. New website Hoppit aims to help diners filter choices by environment style. Read the Springwise article here http://bit.ly/JKpZk1.

Kibibi Springs is myGreenlight’s Community Director.

Relationship Roundup

In the Roundup spotlight this week: how to filter criticism without missing good advice, better ways for leaders to build rapport, and the benefits of collaboration and mentorship. Enjoy!

To believe or not to believe – In the myGreenlight community we encourage members to view feedback as data vs. emotionalizing it as criticism. It can be challenging to know when to listen to critique and when to ignore it. This article from Behance offers some helpful advice for filtering outside input. Read it here http://bit.ly/z73cjR.

Connection tips for leaders –These tips from Eileen Sinett, author of Speaking that Connects are helpful for anyone who wants to improve their ability to influence others within or external to their organizations. Read the SmartBlog here http://bit.ly/ypWiVZ.

Connection and collaboration –The landscape has certainly shifted in today’s corporate environments and the dust of change is still settling. Regardless of whether you agree or not with the predicted outcomes one thing is clear, connection and collaboration provide valuable insight if you care to take it. Learn more about the possible implications of a more connected generation in this HBR Blog post http://bit.ly/Aw67Y2.

A few words on familiarity – I get many questions from the myGreenlight community about connecting in an authentic manner. I think this post from Seth Godin offers good advice across the board. Read the post here http://bit.ly/zNhcpw.

Mining for a mentor – At myGreenlight we highly advocate accountability buddies, lifeline members, and mentors for long term achievement. The eight best practices offered in Entrepreneur magazine on finding and maintaining a mentor relationship are right on point. Read them here http://bit.ly/ApZ5Kc.

Kibibi Springs is myGreenlight’s Community Director.

Mini Mission Monday

First things first.  Happy 2012!

In honor of the introduction of our 3rd Core Course – The Learning Action Plan – today’s mission is all about planning your personal development for this year.

Your Mission:

Identify one thing you want to learn this year.  It might already be a resolution, or just a thought in the back of your mind.  Write it down and spend 30 minutes researching ways to move the needle on that learning objective.

Possible options:

  • Identify an on-line course
  • Sign up for a live course – continuing education, a seminar, a workshop
  • Find a book – buy it or go get it at the library
  • Ask around in your network for ideas
  • Find a mentor/accountability buddy to keep you moving

Five Ways to Win Over Your Boss

There is no way to overemphasize how important it is to maintain a good working relationship with your boss. A boss can make or break you; this Monster article sheds some light on how to cement your position in the company.

Follow these tips to make sure that you’re doing the right things and acting appropriately in the office:

  1. Watch your boss and learn.
  2. Communicate the way your boss wants to.
  3. Look and act professional.
  4. Demonstrate initiative.
  5. Do great work.

Some of these tips are self explanatory, but others may need some context. For the first one, Peter Vogt suggests, “keep your opinions to yourself until you understand the company culture well and know what people will look upon with favor and what they’ll look upon with disdain.” This doesn’t have to mean that you never try to influence your company’s culture with your actions – but first you need to understand the rules of the game.

An important point brought up with tip number two is “whatever your supervisor’s style, typically it’s up to you to establish and maintain the lines of communication between the two of you.” Your boss may manage several people, therefore it is essential for you to keep him/her informed.

Your relationship with your boss continues to be important even when he or she isn’t your boss any more. Keith Ferrazzi blogged earlier this year about why that’s the case — take a look.

What’s the best strategy you’ve used to improve  a relationship with your supervisor?

Ritu Walia is myGreenlight’s Member Coordinator.

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

The Best Mentoring is a Two-Way Street

In this Harvard Business Review article, the authors discuss the positive effects of having a strong support system in your work environment. People who will hold you accountable when you’re slacking, people who will give you a pat on the back when you achieve, people who are your lifelines.

Creating and fostering these relationships is very important, but it is also essential to pick the right people. According to the authors of this article, when looking at the mentors specifically, “Sponsorship can help catapult junior talent into top management while also greatly expanding the reach and impact of senior leadership—but only when both sponsor and protégé recognize that it’s a mutually beneficial alliance, a truly two-way street.”

Continue reading

Relationship Roundup

Kibibi Springs is the myGreenlight Community Manager.

Happy post-holiday to you all!  If you’re like those of us in the Greenlight office, you’re really missing that extra day in your work week and scrambling to make the moments count towards the progress of your goals.  Hopefully these references from fellow community members will help kick start next week’s agenda.  Till then – rest up, Monday is right around the corner.

myGreenlight community member @Ronald Yau recommends the following goodies.

  • Getting Mentors, a great HBR article for lining up the 3 perfect mentors.
  • We are a socially networked nation. Half of all Americans are now using social networks according to this recent Pew Poll.  Great!  Makes it that much easier for each of to get connected.  Just don’t tell my parents who have yet to send me a friend request.

Decision Fatigue?  Please raise your hand if you can relate. @Jason Womack must have been reading my mind when he referred this Fast Company article  on how to maintain focus and willpower on the things we want to change and maintain in our lives. Dully noted Jason.  Thank you!