Reading List: The GO-Giver

The Go-Giver: A Little Story About a Powerful Business Idea

by Bob Burg and John David Mann

Why? is is a superbly written parable whose main message is that in business, as in life, it is better to give than to receive. e Go-Giver is both inspirational and aspirational as you build your professional network. I can’t recommend it highly enough.

LinkedIn is a tool for networking

LinkedIn is a tool for networking, but not a substitute. It allows you to stay informed about what your network is doing and easily contribute leads, information, support, and other information. Don’t confusion social media tools with building a genuine, professional relationship with another person.

Where to find networking opportunities

There are formal networking groups and informal networking opportunities all around. Most people can identify three to five convenient opportunities without much effort. A networking opportunity isn’t always labeled as such. Informal networking can happen anywhere. Here are a few suggestions for formal and informal networking opportunities:

  • Your own company or organization
  • Trade and professional organizatoins
  • Your alumni association
  • Your hobbies or interests
  • Local business and civic groups
  • Professional networking organizations
  • Meetup.com
  • or start your own. . .

The Emily Post Institute

Why this resource? Emily Post is synonymous with good manners. Her descendants have continued to publish etiquette books more than 50 years after her death. The Emily Post Institute offers many free resources including articles, blogs, monthly newsletters, and a YouTube channel with a great playlist called Etiquette BitesTM. In addition to these free resources, there are low cost e-learning options for individuals and a bookstore. I recommend The Etiquette Advantage in Business, Third Edition: Personal Skills for Professional Success and Manners in the Digital World: Living Well Online.

THE GOLDEN RULE OF NETWORKING

All professional relationships require care and tending. Like a farmer who tends his field, the effective networker should not expect immediate results. Good networking cannot be rushed. Here are some additional points to remember while building your professional network:

  • Relationships are fragile and take years to build, but only seconds to destroy. Be mindful of the delicate nature of relationships.
  • Do for others as you would like others to do for you.
  • If you attend a networking event for the first time and are desperate to find a job, your desperation will make building a relationship dif cult.
  • Don’t expect to take from a group before you have first contributed.
  • Other people at a networking event may feel a sense of anxiety. Be the first to smile, shake someone’s hand and introduce yourself.

Reading List – Managing Brand You: Seven Steps to Creating Your Most Successful Self By Jerry S. Wilson and Ira Blumenthal

Why read this book? The seven steps in this book provide a roadmap for creating “Brand YOU” by employing the same concepts used in traditional commercial brand management such as brand attributes, brand essence, brand image, and brand insistence. Step one includes a brand audit to assess your current state and the book concludes with step seven, a detailed action plan to implement your Brand YOU. The authors have worked with some of the best brands on the planet including Coca-Cola, McDonald’s, Wal-Mart, Delta Airlines, and Marriott.

What is organizational awareness?

Every company has two organizational structures: the formal one is written on the charts; the other is the everyday relationship of the men and women in the organization. -HAROLD S. GREEN

Organizational awareness is the understanding of your organization from top to bottom and from inside to out. It enables you to understand how you and your role relate to the larger organization and industry in which you work. It also includes the way in which your organization relates to the global economy. Understanding your organization will help you navigate your career.

Organizational awareness includes the culture, politics, and the written and unwritten rules that shape your day-to-day work and your long-term professional aspirations. Knowing your organization includes knowing the players—your colleagues. You also should understand the external forces that impact your organization and everyone in it—competitors, industry trends, government policies, economics, and other global dynamics.

It is important to note that the term “organizational awareness” has a variety of meanings depending on the context. In Career-ology, the focus is on your awareness and understanding of your role in relation to your team, organization, industry/sector, the larger economy/marketplace/country, and the world.

Lack of Customer Awareness

A high level of customer awareness is critical in all situations. Here are some scenarios to avoid:

  • Driving a Hertz rental car to a meeting with an Avis custom- er. (You might also want to hide your Kia in the parking lot, if your meeting is with Ford.)
  • Ordering a Pepsi for lunch with a client from Coca-Cola. (Although, it’s likely that the Coca-Cola people wouldn’t eat lunch in a restaurant that served Pepsi.)
  • Sending a FedEx package to your customers at UPS.
  • Wearing a Burberry scarf to a presentation at L.L. Bean.

While it may seem implausible, these scenarios happen often, especially to new professionals who haven’t yet developed their customer awareness.

From Chapter 6: Sales and Negotiation Skills

What is the secret to making networking fun?

Do you dread networking? Does the thought of it make you anxious or uncomfortable?

Do you want to know the one secret to making networking fun? Here it is:  Approach networking with an attitude of giving. Focus on how you can help other people.

Everyone has something of value to share. No matter their age, experience level, or current employment status, everyone has something to o er in a networking situation. You have former college classmates, current friends, and neighbors who work in a variety of industries and organizations. Perhaps someone in your network is an entrepreneur, went to graduate school, or worked overseas. I know that at some point in your life, you’ve visited a doctor, eaten in a restaurant, taken a vacation, or volunteered your time with a not-for-pro t or political organization.

These are just a few of the resources that you bring to any net- working situation. And none of these resources depend on your age, seniority, or ability to hire. Everyone has something to bring to a networking situation.

Several years ago, I met a recent graduate at a networking event. At the time, I was almost 20 years older than he. We talked about his interests and my previous experience in the financial services industry—one of the few things we shared in common, at least on the surface. As the conversation progressed and he asked me about my current professional interests, we discovered that I was in the same business as his father and he made an introduction as a follow-up to our meet- ing. Neither of us could have anticipated this when we met.

Everyone has something to offer in a networking situation— no matter the difference in age or experience.

Reading List: To Sell Is Human – The Surprising Truth About Moving Others by Daniel Pink

Why read this book? Ranked a top seller by the New York Times, Washington Post and e Wall Street Journal, To Sell is Human explains sales 108 in a way that applies to everyone—in every field. Pink, the author of Drive and A Whole New Mind, is an exceptional writer and lays out a convincing argument as to why “moving others” is a critically important skill in your career and your life.