Family and Friends

In a conversation with an association cohort today a phrase was made that has forced me to analyze my past and future operating proceedures.  He mentioned that isn’t it unfortunate that we are so involved in our daily jobs and lives that we don’t take the opportunity when we see each other at meetings or events to share our stories and our experiences.

If I am going to take to heart the Joe Sweeney (Networking is a Contact Sport) program of 5 meetings, 10 written correspondence and 15 phone calls on a daily basis during a job search, I must ask myself why shouldn’t I continue such an approach during “normal” times?

I have always taken it upon myself while employed to be there for individuals who were in the search mode.  Matter of fact, I have been a subscriber to CEO Update on and off for the last 8 or 10 years not just because I was assessing the environment but because I wanted to be able to share the job postings with friends who were truly in need. 

My philosophy has always been, not much different than many others that to receive you must give.  For those who have been unemployed for any length of time, we know the feeling and we certainly want to be there for those who can benefit from our friendship and contacts.  You may not have the answers but you certainly have the shoulders and what more can you ask of an individual.

On one occasion I even hired a friend as a member of the association staff.  Thankfully this talented person provided results that no one could ever argue with but as many know there are certainly pros and cons to hiring family and friends.  The worst element of hiring those you know is when there are those inevitable difficulties where new direction or termination are in order.  It is never a comfortable decision, but I guess that is why they pay us those “hefty sums” as an association exec?

I have also taken the opportunity during this transition to be a mentor for those who can benefit from my experiences.  Again, no one person has all the answers but it is important to pass on the knowledge that others have passed on to you during your time in the saddle.

It all come back to what we constantly read from all the experts, this is an interactive life.  The successful ones are those who give of themselves while also asking for help.  During good times we are in a position to give more but even during one’s transitionary times we can be there for others.

Marshall Goldsmith (MOJO – How to Get It, How to Keep It, How to Get it Back If You Lose It)  believes that every morning you should have a “partner” (preferably not someone you live with) to interact with.  You should ask him/her 10 or 15 questions (same questions everyday) and they should do the same for you.  These questions will prompt answers that will direct you in the appropriate direction for the day and certainly can be a personal lift for those who are dragging for what so ever reason.

Though I don’t find the Goldsmith question technique personally helpful, I have heard from friends that they live by it.  I do however keep in touch with an association contemporary on nearly a daily basis.  We have been talking to each other for years about our accomplishments and our difficulties and I think both of us would admit that we get more out of this relationship than we give.  There are no new ideas but ones that we can redevelop as our own.

No man is truly an island and we do need the help of others.  Many of us learned early on that pride should never get in the way of advancing because as we receive we are also giving.  Keep those business cards ready to be distributed because if we can learn anything from a successful salesperson it is that we should never take no for an answer and perseverence is a science and not an art form.


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