Friday, January 30, 2009

Pomodoro (Networking upside down?)

Where do you focus your networking energy?

Sometime you meet someone and the creative sparks fly. Sounds corny but the conversation I had yesterday was richer than Pomodoro’s orzo. I think of myself as a seasoned professional with a long list of accomplishments and people I have developed. Johanna Hassan-Hollowich is equally or more accomplished in her field (founder/president of Potencium Limited, adjunct facility of UCLA , internationally recognized consultant, etc). I added an engineering, supply chain and technology element to the potential undertaking that she valued, while her expertise in learning and education, business needs assessment and standards of content development and delivery were way beyond anything I had experienced.

So – exactly how did this connection happen? Did we “link in” by joining virtual networks? Did we find our faces in the virtual social media world? Did we network with other accomplished executives and professionals to cross paths? No. None of these created this exciting event. We each independently focused on developing entry level people for our respective “organizations” and cultivated those relationships. It was an entry level engineer she taught at UCLA and I mentored professionally that introduced us (thank you Brandon). There is a lot to be said for how we used virtual technologies once the connection was made, but I was reminded again yesterday that real people at the bottom of the pecking order can influence your network as much as anything else.

Have you limited your network to looking upward? What are you doing to network with those starting in their careers?

9 comments:

Kayla's Mom said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kayla's Mom said...

Great example... while technology can certainly help us network, and even better help us to build/sustain relationships, there still needs to be that personal connection.

And isn't Pomodoro a great place :)

Phil said...

Currently out of work, I exercised my network to reach out for opportunities. The individual that has been most persistent in working to help me was an engineer I hired as an intern while she completed her masters degree. Her continued effort has been a source of encouragement, and confirmation that my leadership style has helped her career.

J Wong said...

Well said John,

People who are only trying to “network up” lose out on so many other things. A network is a give and take situation, you should be supporting your network and put in just as much as you take out of it. That is what makes a person successful in their network. I find it very motivating when I can help someone, regardless of the task, scope or position the person is in. You never know when the good dead will come back to you. I am a firm believer that we all meet people for a specific reason, you may never understand that reason but it is there regardless.

Comment shared from Linkedin said...

Sounds like a great success story John,

I develop my online social networking presence and projects from personal, professional, organizational, to geographic. I also layer my activities to target markets including casual internet explorers, potential clients, established clients, and member clients.

One of the emerging dynamics of social networking includes a new level playing field between businesses and markets. So the nature of this work implies everyone should be treated with the same initial respect whether they have a business or not. I take that even further by defining possible "lines-in" to my business or networking objectives. So you could say networking with a casual internet explorer on a personal level might represent a potential lead in to high-level business contacts, project opportunities, and even client relationships.

Comment shared from Linkedin said...

Sounds like a great success story John,

I develop my online social networking presence and projects from personal, professional, organizational, to geographic. I also layer my activities to target markets including casual internet explorers, potential clients, established clients, and member clients.

One of the emerging dynamics of social networking includes a new level playing field between businesses and markets. So the nature of this work implies everyone should be treated with the same initial respect whether they have a business or not. I take that even further by defining possible "lines-in" to my business or networking objectives. So you could say networking with a casual internet explorer on a personal level might represent a potential lead in to high-level business contacts, project opportunities, and even client relationships.

John Bishop said...

Phil,

You are the man. It is amazing what the people "below" you can do when you give them a chance. The small team that actually leads the tachnology side of this blog are going to be leading major corportations or communities some day and we can look back and we knew them.

Thanks

John

Jarrett said...

I tried to network up, but then John retired...

After 3 years at the company, I volunteered for the official mentoring program - not as a protege, but as a mentor. I remember not being taken serious by my manager because 'what could I possibly offer after only being at the company for a little over 3 years and not being a manager'. Maybe he was right. For some reason I found ample opportunity to mentor and have people seek me out outside of the official mentoring program, but had little success getting internal proteges.

Official internal mentoring programs seem to be completely geared towards "networking up" where everyone was trying to be mentored by the director or vice president beleiving that their career would benefit more. I beleive that it is the network and relationships with my peers and sub-peers that will benefit my career the most.

Brandon said...

Hi John!

Glad to hear you and Johanna hit it off so well. I actually had a mind meld dinner with her tonight... guess where? Pomodoro! (she loves that place)

I like the point you make... and in my words, I'd like to say you are right... it's not always the power a person has that opens doors and forms connections, sometimes it is simply just the power of people - everyone has something to offer.

Again - glad you two made contact.

Brandon

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