Given my background, experience and passion for effective networking, I was eager to read Joe Sweeney’s recently published book entitled: Networking Is A Contact Sport; How Staying Connected and Serving Others Will Help You Grow Your Business, Expand Your Influence – Or Even Land Your Next Job.
It has been my honor to serve as facilitator for literally hundreds of education and networking events over the past 25 years. These education and networking events include healthcare CEOs, COOs, CFOs, CMOs, CNOs, CIOs, and many other senior healthcare executives.
It has also been my privilege to serve as a personal and professional reference for literally hundreds of senior healthcare executives (colleagues and friends) during the time they were actively searching for a new or better position or opportunity.
Unfortunately, many executives and other professionals are truly passionate about networking only when they feel the need or the ‘voluntary or involuntary’ push to find a new job. I cannot tell you how many hundreds of times I have received calls or emails that basically say, “Hi Dan… just wanted to touch base with you… I am networking for a new job.”
Although I never say it, my first reaction is always the same… “Now is the worst time for you to be actively and passionately NETWORKING for a new job. You should have been actively and passionately networking two to three years ago. In fact, you should be actively and passionately networking ALL THE TIME for a million excellent reasons! Effective, appropriate NETWORKING is not synonymous with just looking for a new job.”
The major theme of Networking Is A Contact Sport is excellent and absolutely right on! By far, the most effective and productive networking is all about giving… not getting!
The very first sentence written by Joe Sweeney in his new book is as follows: “THE THEME of Networking Is A Contact Sport is that when you truly give to others without any expectations or strings attached, you will receive much more than you ever could have expected.”
Joe Sweeney’s perspective and working definition of highly effective networking is almost totally opposite of how most people think about, go about, and define networking. For most people, even many successful people, networking is all about me, me, me… and how I can get what I want… ASAP!
Although dressed up in fine clothes with a diplomatic approach and carefully chosen words, the bottom line of most “networking” is basically as follows: “Hi, I’m Dan and I want to sell you this!” Or, “Hi, I’m Dan and I want and need your help!” Or, “Hi, I’m Dan and I need a job!”
By far, the most effective, appropriate, professional short-term and long-term networking is as follows: “Hi, I’m Dan… how can I help you achieve what is most important to you?”
That’s it! Nothing else. Nothing about me! It’s all about you! With no strings attached!
The positive results are astounding and continuing… in a million different ways!
Buy the book. Study it carefully. Don’t just read it… do something about it… put its recommendations into action. You and all those you serve will be better for it!