Jonathan Fields Says You Are Exactly As Lucky As You Believe You Are

Jonathan Fields is a speaker, entrepreneur, and author of the book, Uncertainty: Turning Fear and Doubt Into Fuel for Brilliance. Jonathan joined Never Eat Alone co-author Tahl Raz on the Social Capitalist to talk about his work around the idea of certainty anchors as a tool to support innovation. Here, Jonathan talks about luck, and how it is frequently in the eye of the beholder:

Richard Weismann was doing experiments. He wanted to try and figure out whether there is some commonality among the lucky. Is there something that some people do that makes them luckier or less lucky than others?

So what he did is he got two groups of people together. One group self-identified as being very unlucky. The other group self-identified as being very lucky. He sat them all down and he said, “Okay, here’s a newspaper. I’m going to time you. I want you to go through the newspaper as quickly as possible and count every picture that you see in the newspaper.” The people who identified themselves as being unlucky took about two minutes on average, and they returned and said, “Okay, there are 43 pictures in the newspaper.”

The people, on average, who identified themselves as lucky took a few seconds and came back with the exact same number. Continue reading

Christine Comaford Explains How What You Wear Can be an Act of Generosity

Christine Comaford is the author of Rules for Renegades, which might make you think that her advice would center around self-expression and breaking the rules. While breaking the rules is certainly one of her favorite themes, during her Social Capitalist Interview she shared some interesting perspective on why being a chameleon and adapting to what others want to see can be an act of generosity and service.

Christine says:

“It’s service-oriented. It really is. So just like in rapport, we step out of ourself then we say, ‘What does that person need to see?’ So Monday for instance, I’ll be in New York City. I’ll be in a room of 40 CEOs of mid-market companies. Forget me, OK? I’m not relevant. What’s relevant is what can come through me. What do those guys need to see? What they need to see, based on talking to the folks who are sponsoring the event and just listening, is someone who’s conservative, someone’s who’s got some really good answers to what is happening in the world right now and how they should manage change. Someone who’s going to help them walk away with like five tips so they can manage the radical amount of change in their organization today. So yes, I don’t like wearing conservative suits, but I will wear one. That will make them feel safe. Rapport tools help us step out of ourselves. Continue reading

Build Credibility as a Square Peg: Tips from Heidi Roizen

Building credibility and a supportive network is easier when you “fit in” with the other members of the group you want to affiliate with. However, even if you don’t quite mirror the profile for your target group, all is not lost. In today’s Social Capitalist tip, Heidi Roizen, Silicon Valley’s most legendary networker, shares her perspective as a woman with a non-technical background breaking into the software industry.

Heidi says:

“Whenever I ran into a situation where someone was not receptive to me because I was young, or a woman, or non-technical, whatever the reason, my feeling was that there was always someone else I could go to. There was always another door I could open.

And as many times as being a woman hurt me, it probably helped me. It made me stand out. For example, in the early days of the Valley, there were so few articles about the women working there that I knew, given the size of my company, I would get more than my fair share of press, just because people were looking for women to write about. I wouldn’t call that exploitative, I would say that this might have helped me.

On the flip side, there were certainly times when I would walk into a room or a situation where I did not feel particularly welcome. I don’t think beating your head against those walls is a very effective approach. I think I learned that pretty quickly.

I think that tenacity, a good sense of self-worth, and a sense that you’re going to accomplish something even in the face of difficulty are all things you need to build in yourself and with your small group. Everybody starts out with a group, even if it’s your mom, and at least you’ve got somebody who tells you you’re good and that they like you. You need to get some strength from those people and recognize that not everything’s going to be a win. If you don’t find the win, you need to move on and go somewhere else.”

Read a full transcript of the interview with Heidi, filled with other great tips and insights, by clicking here.

Win a Year of myGreenlight – Scholarship Contest

We want everyone to have access to amazing relational capital, so today we kick off our second scholarship contest. The winner will receive a FREE one-year unlimited membership to myGreenlight.

This prize, worth $699 (!), includes unlimited access to all of myGreenlight’s resources.

  • 3-course core curriculum
  • Field-tested Relationship Action Planning tool
  • 15+ hours of webinars and masterclasses, on everything from presentation skills to body language to social media branding
  • Multimedia Coaching Resource Center
  • Hundreds of samples, templates, and articles on-demand
  • Weekly newsletter to help sustain progress
  • Monthly live Social Capitalist Event with leading business thought leaders
  • Access to our alumni directory
  • Moderated community forums
  • Lifeline Group Recruiting and Accountability tool
PLUS the winner will receive all 3 of our Kickstart Bonus Courses
  • Five Steps to Relational Capital that Closes the Deal
  • Career Advancement: Optimize Your LinkedIn Profile
  • Entrepreneur’s Launch Kit

Each BONUS package includes an easy-to-implement action sequence with myGreenlight support materials – rocket fuel as you build your tailored network to make your dreams reality.

To win – submit your entry in the comments below. Tell us about your biggest relationship or networking-related challenge and what you will achieve with the relationship skills you develop during the course. The most compelling response (as judged by Community Manager Kibibi Springs and Program Director Sara Grace) will receive the scholarship.

What would YOU do if you could build the relationships that wouldn’t let you fail?  Tell us!

Entries must be received by April 6th at 5PM Eastern Time.  Good luck!

For more information about myGreenlight, including access to our Spring Special deal ($200 off of the regular price) - click here.  If you enroll and then win the scholarship, your tuition will be refunded in full – so don’t wait!

Jeffrey Pfeffer on Why Kissing Up to Your Boss isn’t a Bad Idea

Stanford Professor Jeffrey Pfeffer shared the often unspoken power rules of business on an eye-opening session of the Social Capitalist. An outspoken truth-teller and academic rebel willing to question the orthodoxy, he proved again with his book, Power: Why Some People Have It and Others Don’t, why he’s one of our very top thinkers in management theory.

During the interview, Professor Pfeffer shared reasons that making the powers-that-be look good isn’t a bad idea.

I think many of us in particular are uncomfortable with having other people, particularly other people who we may feel are unqualified or who have gotten their positions in an unfair manner or, you know, who knows how they’ve gotten their jobs, but they have power over us and we don’t like it. And so we say, why does this person have the right to tell me what to do? And then we act and behave in a counter-dependent fashion, and that doesn’t get us very far at all.

Everybody has a boss, and to the extent that your boss likes you, thinks well of you, and wants to make you successful, you’re probably going to do way better than if your boss doesn’t like you and would rather never see you again, in which case you’re likely going to be fired.

When your colleague and co-author Keith Ferrazzi came to my class some years ago, he’s made a statement that I think is completely correct. He said, “You are not responsible for your career. Your blinding ambition is not going to necessarily make you successful. It is other people who are responsible for your career.” The people higher up in the organization whose fate – your fate, they control. And so your job is to make sure that they want to make you successful and have an interest in your success and well being. The best way to do that is to make those people feel better about themselves. And so flattery, yes, is one technique. Not disagreeing with them openly or in a confrontational way is another thing. It’s basically asking about any behavior that you’re going to exhibit, At the end of exhibiting this behavior, will the other people feel better or worse about themselves and about my effect on their self kind of esteem? And so, a lot of this is about being energetic, being enthusiastic, being positive, because all of those things are part of having people feel better about themselves.

For more insights into the role power plays in your success, read the full transcript and get the audio recording of this information packed Social Capitalist interview.

For more information about Jeffrey, visit www.jeffreypfeffer.com.

Ram Dass-Style Entrepreneurship

Be here, now. – Ram Dass

The value of presence – “being here, now” – has come up in several recent Social Capitalist interviews. Christine Comaford talked about its importance to leadership, calling it the quality that gives Bill Clinton his charismatic juju. Jonathan Fields talked about the importance of mindfullness meditation to creativity.

This morning, I’ve got a new spin on it, thanks to a conversation I had at Lucinda Duncalfe‘s Grubwithus dinner last night. Presence is incredibly important to the entrepreneur’s ability to generate ideas. (So perhaps this is really another take on Jonathan Fields’.) Entrepreneurs need to be present in the moment so that we’re sufficiently sensitive to life’s minor PITAs to recognize them, pause, and think about solving them.

James Altucher, yet another Social Capitalist guest, recommends “building your idea muscle” by writing down 10 or 20 fresh ideas every morning. But my new friend Ramya from the dinner had a different approach. She talked about paying attention so that every time you experienced a problem or an inconvenience, you flipped a switch to think, “Wait, is there a way to solve this?” In other words, cultivating a constant habit of identifying problems and brianstorming solutions – and “carrying a notebook everywhere.” It’s not unlike the myGreenlight mindset of constantly looking for opportunities to be generous to people – being here, now, so you’re truly listening and responding authentically – which brings us right back to Comaford and Bill Clinton. And actually, entrepreneurship itself is a form of win-win generosity and mutual self-interest.

Ramya’s thought brought me back around to presence – paying attention, exploring sensation, experience, and the tug of an inchoate idea, rather than wandering around in future-goggles thinking about what’s two weeks out.

If you’d like to get the transcripts or recordings for the Social Capitalist sessions I mentioned, here are the links:

Christine Comaford’s Mindset Adjustment to Instantly Relate as an Equal to Anyone

Christine Comaford has one of the most fascinating bios you will ever see. She is a five-time CEO, venture capitalist, Buddhist monk, and best-selling author, just to name a few of her accomplishments. Christine joined Tahl Raz, co-author of Never Eat Alone, in a fascinating Social Capitalist Interview where she shared this simple shift in mindset that will make you feel more equal with even the most powerful potential contact.

Christine says:

We tend to put people above us, and that’s just not true, you know? So we can equalize our self with others, for starters, which is a core tenet of Buddhism. We’re all the same. We all have one unit of self worth. No one’s better than anybody else. So as we equalize, then we can exchange.

And when we exchange ourself with others, and I do this all the time in business, we have a new tool. If someone is mean or challenging, it’s just because they’re in pain. And so you think, “OK, when have I been in pain before.” OK yes, I’ve been in devastating pain before. That’s possibly what they’re going through. And when we can exchange our pain for their pain, we can then talk to them far more effectively.

For many more insights and actionable tips, make sure to read the full transcript of Christine’s Social Capitalist Interview here.

5 Ways to Connect with Other myGreenlight Members Before the End of the Year

  Kibibi Springs is the myGreenlight Community Manager.

It’s the fourth quarter countdown. That time of year when most of us are starting to reel in our relaxed summer agendas and get back to the business of progressing our goals. Nothing distinguishes the myGreenlight community more than their generosity towards helping others progress their goals. Your greatest help, best referral and next client could be one myGreenlight member away from reality. If you’re not part of the myGreenlight community, consider what avenues you’ll take to connect with your network in the coming quarter.

As you reestablish your routines for reaching out in your network, add one or more of these five myGreenlight resources to your activity list.

  1. Chat it up! — Hit the Forums to contribute a new conversation or to a fellow member’s conversation.
  2. Network Thoughtfully – myGreenlights’ monthly Social Capitalist call and blogs provides common ground for like minds.
  3. Peer Power – the My Community link puts members in touch with peers from their organization, making collaboration on internal ideas easy to achieve.
  4. Lifeline Groups/Directory – If you’re a Relationship Bootcamp Graduate, you have access to the full myGreenlight Directory. If you haven’t taken the step to form a Lifeline Group, developing a network to support your goals will accelerate your progress.
  5. Be vocal! – Leave something thoughtful for the community to think about and always feel free to reach out and tell me what you’d like from your myGreenlight experience.