Rochester’s Premier Professional Networking Organization
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“We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we
~ Albert Einstein
"Weakness of attitude becomes weakness of character."
~ Albert Einstein
"Sometimes one pays most for the things one gets for nothing."
~ Albert Einstein
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Contacts That Circle the Globe
By Anne Baber & Lynne Waymon
Mary Beth Moore's phone rang.
The caller said, "I need to find trainers in Kenya." Moore thought a moment,
and then said, "I know a person who recently returned to the U.S. after
three years in Kenya. Here's her phone number."
Networking is a business buzzword, these days. But, most people think of it
in the context of job hunting or prospecting for clients or customers.
That's too limiting a notion. You, like Moore, can have contacts that circle
Everyone has a worldwide, six-million-person network. There's an amazing
rule of thumb that's as predictable as gravity: For anybody you want to know
in the world, someone you know knows someone they know. Moore, a Washington,
D.C. - based reproductive health consultant, was link Number 2 in an
effective four-person chain of contacts.
This Rule of Four allows you to tap into a six million-person network.
Here's ho it works. If you know 50 people, and each of them knows 50 people,
you have 2,500 friends of friends. If each of them knows 50 people, you have
125,000 friends of friends of friends. And if each of them knows 50 people,
you have more than six million friends of friends of friends of friends.
These numbers are very conservative Don't you know many more than 50 people
on a first name basis?
To access this vast resource of valuable contacts, you must, however, become
a skillful networker. Many people, even the ones who belong to lots of
professional and community organizations, are novices when it comes to
Networking is the exchange of information and services in such a way as to
create relationships. Notice the word "exchange." There are two sides of the
networking equation: giving and getting. All too often, people put their
energy toward the getting side of the equation. They see networking as the
way to get something for themselves, an opportunity to use people to their
own advantage. But, the truth is, you have little control over that side of
networking. You can't force people to give. That's why it makes much more
sense to focus on the giving side - - something you are totally in control
of. There's an isolated tribe in the mountains of New Guinea that has
developed a distinctive culture. In this tribe, a person's status is
determined, not by the worldly goods he accumulates, but by how much he
gives away. That's a great model for networking. Focusing on giving -- not
getting -- is the way to build your network.
As you meet people, or call them for specific information, put your antenna
up. Try to determine how you can help them. Networking relationships aren't
built by handing out your business card. They are built conversation by
conversation, exchange by exchange. If you can't figure out what your
contact is looking for, ask, "Is there some way that I can be helpful to
you? What problems are you trying to solve? What challenges are facing you
There's something else you need to do to build an effective network, one
that ca help you both at home and abroad.
People say, rather cynically, when they're touting the value of contacts,
"It's not what you know; it's who you know." But that's only part of the
story. What you know is important. Your capabilities and breadth of
experience are what make you a valuable contact. Who you know also is
important. The broader your range of acquaintances, the more you contacts
you have to offer to others or access yourself
But most important is WHO KNOWS YOU. To create a viable network, you must be
sure that your 50 friends know and appreciate your expertise. When they run
across an opportunity, a resource, or a lead you'd be interested in, you
want your name to pop up instantly in their mental Rolodexes. Work on
building your reputation among people who can assist your career. If you
have a sterling reputation, contacts will feel comfortable sending you to
their friends. Your contact must trust you to share information -- and their
contacts -- with you. Developing that trust and confidence is vital to
Join several organizations - - civic, professional, industry-wide. But
remember that you can't buy a network. You can pay your dues, go to events,
get your name in the directory, and still not have a network. Use these
organizations to demonstrate your expertise. Offer to write an article for
the newsletter or introduce a guest speaker or provide a program. You can
show up without showing off.
Visibility is the key, believes Bill Moss. Someone in his professional
association the American Society of Training and Development, suggested him
for a consulting job with a major Japanese securities trading house.
"Relationships take years to build," Moss points out. When a question or
need arises is not the time to begin networking. Six months ago, he attended
his 25th high school reunion and reconnected with a person who had become an
interpreter for Nippon Steel. "Hmmm," he remembers thinking as he tucked his
old friend's card away.
Moss's clients at Nomura Securities wanted to take a look at customer
services programs in American banks. He dug out his high school friend's
card, called, and got some expert advice.
Moss also remembered that his office suitemate specialized in financial
services for U.S. banks. He called her to check out which banks he should
take his Japanese clients to see. She suggested seven banks for the Nomura
professional study tour program.
This is business as usual for Moss, whose company, William L. Moss and
Associates, Ltd. in Alexandria, Virginia, provides professional management
service and consultancy for many international organizations.
If your business could profit from contacts that reach around the world,
take a hint from the Chinese. Their word for networking is "guanxi." It
means relationships. As you develop relationships with just 50
acquaintances, you take the first step toward accessing your worldwide
Network the World
Start early. It may take several months to find names, contact them,
and receive information back, especially, if your contacts extend (as
they should) to friends of friends of friends of friends.
Be clear about what you want. Are you looking for insight into the
daily life o business practices of people in a particular country?
People whose jobs are similar to yours? Clients or customers? Talk with
people who know the culture. Will your desires offend? Are your
Use your resources. Check the directories of your professional
associations, hobby groups (yes, there are people in England who fly
radio-controlled model airplanes), and alumni organizations. Common
interests and backgrounds create instant networking contacts.
Become visible. Take a high-profile role in organizations you belong
to. When opportunities arise, you want to be the person whose expertise
comes to mind. Teach, speak, write, or consult. Enter - - and win - -
competitions with your peers. Showcase your abilities in volunteer
positions in your community.
Reciprocate. If you cannot determine through your conversation what
your contact needs, ask, "Is there some way that I could be helpful to
you?" If it seems that you are giving more than you are getting from
your networking relationships, you are networking the right way.
Inevitably, you will benefit from contact with someone whom you can't
immediately -- or perhaps ever -- pay back. Albert Einstein, the Nobel
prizewinner, once was asked, "What is the most important question?" He
replied, "Is this a friendly universe?" Giving generously creates a
world of abundance - - a friendly universe - - for all.
Seek serendipity. That's the knack of making desirable discoveries
through happy accidents. This is one time you want to become
"accident-prone." These "accidents" - - finding the right information or
the right person at the right time - - occur most often when you're open
and flexible, when you view travel and meeting people the world over as
one of life's great adventures.
Anne Baber and Lynne Waymon are principals of Contacts Count, a nationwide
consulting and training firm that specializes in business and professional
networking, and career development. They are co-authors of six books. The
most recent is Make Your Contacts Count: Networking Know-How for Business
and Career Success (2007, AMACOM). Fortune 500 companies license their
training programs. Visit them at
Sue Schnorr is President of Training Insights, Inc., a firm that specializes
in soft skills training. She is also the exclusive Associate for Contacts
Count in NY. She can be reached at
I find many are confused about who should be included in their
networks. A simple acid test - if asked to make an introduction for a given
person, would you do so? Remember that making an introduction is in no way
similar to making a recommendation of someone. If you meet someone at a
social event and find them cordial and engaging and they share with you a
desire to meet a certain type of person, would you introduce them later at
the event if you met a person of interest? Most often in this context
people will make the introduction happen. So, accept invitations and invite
those you would willingly introduce if requested.
Greg is the Founder of The August Group, a recruiter and entrepreneur
offering a myriad for services to employers and professionals including
coaching and consulting. He can be reached at 585-785-8600 or
Hannah's blog this week includes writings on
Choosing target companies Large, Small or both.
composes her blog outside of work hours as a personal passion to assist
those in career transition.
Book Reviews and Good Reads
Other Offerings - Share Yours
Got a book you'd like to share with others and lead in discussion? It's a
great way to contribute, add value and get known. Provide the story line on
the book and submit it to Greg Taylor at
discussion, coordination and promotion.
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difference. Share a story. Submit it to
Thursday, June 4, 2009
R. Thomas Flynn Campus Center
Monroe Community College
Please come to a meeting at the Bagel Bin, Wednesday, March 4th at 8:30 a.m.
Bring your target companies w/contact information if possible, enthusiasm,
and take a step to help the companies within the Rochester area achieve
their goals while likely improving your opportunities.
Regards, Susan Korb
For the 2009-2010 Executive MBA
the Saunders College of Business at RIT
Up to five applicants will
receive a scholarship in the amount of
Are you ready for real change?
Students at the
MBA Program undergo a major transformation
during this intensive 15-month program. The internationally accredited
program is ideal for high-performing professionals that seek to expand
their strategic thinking skills and cross-functional knowledge of
Classes at the
Saunders EMBA Program meet all day Friday and Saturday, every other week
for 15 months. You will begin your degree in late August and finish by
Thanksgiving of the following year. Through a cohort program, you will
tap into not only your experiences as a professional but also those of
your classmates, which adds to the richness of the Executive MBA
Some of the
program highlights include an international study trip as well as a
challenging Capstone Project. Through the Capstone Consulting Project,
your knowledge and ability to apply the lessons learned will be tested
as you and your team work as management consultants to solve real-world
problems for local companies.
technology companies are bright spots in our regional economy!Digital
Rochester recognizes that enriching the business skills of
the leaders - or future leaders - of such companies ultimately increases
opportunities throughout the tech sector. DR is teaming up with the
Saunders College to support your
efforts to enhance your business leadership skills by making
a substantial dent in tuition costs. In order to be considered for a
Digital Rochester scholarship, you must:
Apply for the
Saunders Executive MBA Program at RIT. You do not have to have your
acceptance back from RIT before submitting your scholarship application.
Scholarship Application and submit it, together with a copy of your
no later than June 1, 2009.
and general information about the scholarship are available online at http://www.digitalrochester.com/emba.
Scholarship recipients will be announced no later than July 1,
2009. The EMBA program begins on August 26, 2009.
your value to your employer.
an RIT EMBA and let a Digital Rochester Scholarship help to pave the
Please pass this
message on to anyone who might be interested in the EMBA program and to
companies who may benefit from employee participation in the program.
It's news of an opportunity that you've just got to share!
- The DR Team
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