Posted by: Dr Pano Kroko Churchill | March 9, 2015

Network this to succeed

We are all dependent on other people for our own Success.

If you don’t know that, or if you don’t believe it – there is absolutely no need to continue reading further…

There is No requirement for Morons to be reading this.

However if you represent an intelligent Life form — carry on and read your fill.

Because no one — absolutely none — does anything worthwhile completely on their own.

Further…

To Lead and to Serve involves a great deal of people, and therefore it takes vast amounts of networking with influential people, and thus you ought to connect with other people constantly and respectfully.

But there is a good way of doing this, and a really bad way of doing it.

And the classical way of networking – by foisting yourself upon others – is a rather poor substitute for human connections.

But connecting with all others on a personal level if you’re trying to create a genuine and mutually beneficial network — is the beginning of the Good.

Here is the best way.

Give, give, and give again….

The goal of networking is primarily to share — it’s not to just connect with people for our own aims. It might sound counter intuitive to some of us, but the reality remains that to Give is to Receive.

Gift giving has always been the way to make introductions that lead into beautiful connections. There is something ingratiating for ourselves with others through gift giving. As a matter of fact, aren’t you always grateful to the people that give help to you? And for the people that exist all around us and are always helpful to us and to our Life’s Mission?

And that is the principle of the much maligned and misunderstood “Gift Economy.”

After all, it is the hand that gives the rose – that retains the perfume…

Give abundant gifts of flowers, compliments, advise, support, and always try to help others, in order to get yourself the help you want and the support you need. Make yourself available to all and sundry to be of helpful service, and you’ll find all the help you want.

It’s paradoxical but that’s how you network fully… You help others and you are grateful for whatever help you get yourself.

Never mind connecting with those who can help you advance your career, make a sale, get a referral, establish a contact, etc. We all know that when we seriously and intentionally network, we want something — but the best amongst us network because they are simply interested in other human beings. And they genuinely want to be of Service…

Understanding that success is a team sport — you seek to create as big a network of shared connections that are built beneficially as anyone. And as a team needs to support the MVP to score and all others to shine, you do too.

Success is not only about you but about all of us succeeding together.

Still, as you always feel needy at first to justify the “gift giving” you network for a given purpose, but you must refrain from asking direct favours. At first just ask how can you be helpful — but never ask for what you want. In fact you might never ask for what you want — and yet it will be given. Forget about what you can get out of the relationship and focus on what you can provide. Giving is the only way to establish a real connection and relationship.

Do this and whatever it is you want to get out of the relationship will be manifold and it will organically “arrive.”

Do this and you’ll always be a winner because you’ll create a long lasting relationship, but you will also be seen as a boon to the others — therefore a benevolent and beneficial Leader.

Networking is what we now call personal relationships and personal diplomacy. Yet no matter what you call it — everyone tries to do it … and yet very few people do it well.

And that’s too bad, because we all need help. We all need guidance. We all need help opening a door, because no one accomplishes anything worthwhile completely alone.

So be helpful instead of focusing solely on what you need, because when you do this by thinking what is it that you can get out of the connections you make — you will never make meaningful, mutually beneficial connections.

When you network it should all be about “them” not you.

And even though You may be desperate — don’t appear that way. Even though partnering with a major player in your industry could instantly transform red ink into black, don’t jump at the bit. And maybe you really, really need a career advancement and want a job with me — please don’t start out that way. Instead show me some form of mutual benefit, and I’ll be your friend because then I can recognize possibilities…

Never expect other people to respond to your needs. Other people may sympathize… but helping you is not their responsibility, nor is it their primary focus either. You should make this your priority instead. The only way to get help, is to help others first. Ask intelligent people what they need. Ask intelligently, what could help them. Find out how to be useful to others in an intelligent way, and things will evolve to your benefit.

Care about other people first; then, and only then, will other people genuinely care back.

I recall the recent ASEAN conference in Bali where all the Chinese bankers and financiers wanted to speak and connect with me, after I had delivered a rather insightful speech on the future of Global Finance, and had shared my deep seated views on beneficial financial innovation. And somehow it resonated fully with their forthcoming creation of the BRICS Development Bank, and they all wanted to connect with me…

And admittedly my speech at the ASEAN leaders summit was stirring and full of wisdom but how did they know that I loved swimming and surfing early in the morning when am such a private person? And how did they all think of it at the same time, as they all showed up in droves at the beach, fully equipped with waterproof business cards, and they shared these cute little cards with me enthusiastically? Peculiarly this happened every time I would go swimming early in the morning during the conference days…

I must have said something that triggered this tsunami of business cards… Now if I could only surf this veritable tsunami of a wave of bankers’ cards all would be great. But my surfing skills need a lot of further refinement so I keep on trying at every opportunity.

I recall the spectacle of me coming out of the sea dripping wet, and a whole bunch of black suited bankers waiting to speak to me, flashing out business cards and asking for mine. I thought they will carry me back to the conference, thinking that I must have missed an important early morning “Sunrise” appointment.

But they just wanted to connect and talk for doing Big Development Bank Business. The thing is, that I never carry cards, so I don’t have anything to give in return except an autograph and they supplied pen and paper and thus I spent enough time writing and in the process getting to know them by using the time in speaking and sharing further insights.

But for your future reference, I never have Business cards… especially when am coming out of the surf in Bali after a bit of surfing and swimming.

But the lesson is not lost on me…

Be always ready because you may meet the most unlikely people at the most unlikely places, and they are exactly the ones you need to connect with. And having each other’s personal details is far better than having the business address, and corporate email and telephone number. If there is a person you like – get as close to them as possible and serve real needs. And be grateful for those that come upon your path.

So having plenty of waterproof business cards when you are going swimming is great, because you never know whom you might meet on the beach, but still some people take it too far and network with anyone and everyone, tossing out business cards and connection requests like confetti — all the time, and that can be a little wasteful…

Yet if you customarily do this, please put some effort to be memorable and smile every time that you meet some new person and talk. Real interesting talk… Because who knows what may come?

So please don’t forget to get those plastic waterproof and bulletproof totally indestructible business cards made, so when you see Warren Buffet in the hotel pool — be ready to slip him one. Am sure he needs this now urgently, at this stage of his life.

Back in Bali this tsunami of cards given to me on the beach, presented a novel problem for me. How to carry all of those cards back when I had to carry my board and gear to the hotel… Yet as always a helpful young person and the smartest banker of the lot emerged and helped me carry back the gear and kit. This person spend the next half hour talking with me and today we are cooperating.

See how it works?

So don’t bother with sharing thousands of business cards but try to be useful. Don’t play the numbers game. This is the quota game that the bankers and sales people play, when they give away over one thousand business cards per month. And that’s a good game only for the serious networkers stuck back in the stone age.

I wonder if anyone has got Stone or Slate cards made? Or the bunny eared ones for the playboys who must have business cards with bunny ears, or the perennial business card that is printed out like a ticket invitation to the Playboy mansion…

I’d like to see some slate ones… Memorable but how likely is it to get your business or to carry it back? Giving out thousands of trinkets like business cards that have flashing lights, and ones that play music, or the really good ones that are actually a memory flash, is good but far from great…

Because for me, networking isn’t a numbers game. It’s rather a personal pursuit.

When you find someone you can help, go ahead and help them and don’t bother to determine whether they might someday be able to help you back in return.

This is what the young FSB banker did by helping me carry the business cards and proposal papers and keeping them dry, when he volunteered to carry them back to the Hotel for me.

Helping is like playing a team sport. Lead the team by being the most helpful person on this team.

Networking to succeed is like sailing. Take your bearings, charter a course, man the helm, and then Go with the wind and the flow.

And in all the far off post of call we populate — we need to Be sensitive to both the culture and the nature of the people and always be careful to approach the people on their own terms. You moor your boat carefully across the divide of sea to shore and the same goes for your business and personal life.

Geography matters a lot. Cultural sensitivity makes all the difference, because by living in an increasingly globalized business and personal world — you must remain supremely confident of your ability to be a traveler and not a tourist. Leave a small footprint and walk gently amongst the people and you will be respected.

Respect is the beginning of all that is good.

Avoid cultural barriers and respect the local customs fully. Weave the bonds of friendship as carefully as possible, and keep your lists of people and connections in specific countries, cities, and industries — relatively small. A few dozen people at most are the influential friends that we can handle, because there is no way to build meaningful connections with several hundreds if not thousands of people all jumbled together.

Strive for focused genuine friendships, personal face time, and quality exchanges. This way, you’ll succeed and also get genuine friends in return. When you share your successes with others — then many people will root for your success, and by making this a communal game — you earn respect and the wings of leadership, as the person to go to if you want help.

And that is the Real Joy in our lives.

Now today we have a tendency to confuse tools with people. And admittedly there are some people out there that are complete tools, but…

Twitter followers, Facebook friends, and LinkedIn connections are great, but in reality they are just grains of sand in the beach. Grit for the wheels. Cogs in a funky machine to benefit the Tools. Or just tools in the far garden shed that houses the tractor that you never use…

So smarten up and realize that your Twitter followers aren’t really your followers. They are not going to follow you to the bathroom like the dog does, and they are not even bothering to read your tweets…

Your Facebook friends are not really your friends. They are not even going to visit your page — let alone your business. And your smart FaceBook photos, the Likes and the Shares, are just like dog-poo on the sidewalk. Everybody notices it, but nobody wants to pick it up. So don’t think that you accomplish anything by spending thousands of hour on FB and by having 5K friends. It just means you have wasted your Life playing with “Tools” and more…

Your LinkedIn connections aren’t real business connections and they are not constantly scanning for your updates — even if their job is numbing their skull in boredom. If you think LinkedIn will get your career on fire — you best become a subsistence farmer on Farmville. Or in real life because the dirt will do you some good in order to bring balance to your brain because of the microbial organisms…

Please don’t confuse social network tools with people power. Social Networks are simple tools that provide a convenient way to establish connections, but are not simulacrums of those people.

You need to have face to face contact – like the bankers at the beach with their waterproof cards and their bullet proof shinny suits, did.  And it does take some effort to do this, and it takes further effort in order to maintain those connections made for the long haul.

You see — You still have to put in the work to make the people friends by being useful to them. All of them…

Sharing is caring.

This is what I say, and this is what I do.

I walk the talk and so can you.

I spend the time (countless hours) and write, and then share my insights and business acumen with all, giving constant value, reinforcement to the Good, and reference to my resources available to all.

By constantly sharing the most valuable and truly useful treasure that I have — and by being a boon, every day to my worthwhile friends, I succeed in ways that I never imagined.

And those that read my blog, support my philanthropies, and seek venture capital, or ask for mentorship –always succeed through the benefit of our association, because I make a point to follow the pure accounting of giving, with more giving…

You see I am a firm believer in the shared value of our Gift Economy…

And so should you be.

I hear from many of you that You desperately want to connect with me and ask for my resources and support. And am sure you do the same with the top people in your industry, but how useful is that? Many of you ask for Mentorship and that is a step up in the right direction. Yet seldom do I hear from the ones who know the right way to go about it.

of course I always try to be helpful, but my “True Person” and the magnificent reach of my resources is only available to those who are deemed worthy. So the message here is to connect with others, not based on want or need, but on what You can offer…

We must “earn” the right to connect by doing good deeds — and that means finding people who can benefit from our knowledge, insight, or connections. And some greater Good will find it’s way back to us, but generally not from those we benefited directly.

Forget the return value of your “Help” but focus on being always helpful. Disregard the “status” level of your connections, but focus on being at the right place at the right time, and being there when you are needed, by those around you. And a you extend the cope of your Life to include all others — then you become far more significant. And what really distinguishes you from others is that you know that ultimately what matters to you, is whether you can help others reach their goals, by being the one who offers help first.

Create value and people will beat a path to your door. Do this and you’ll be always thought of as Being Golden. People will seek to be your friends even if it’s just to get some “shine” off of you.

Those are the best connections of all — and the only ones that truly matter.

Your,

Pano

PS:

Networking is an Art and although everyone tries to do this — very few people do it well.

And that’s too bad, because we all need help. We all need guidance. We all need help opening a door.

Be like a great Lighthouse and shine on everyone’s path.

Your light will not be diminished by sharing — if anything it gets magnified greatly… by your usefulness.


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