The subject matter of these communications covers a wide range of topics. To be sure many of them are telling us that that their new gig came as a direct or indirect result of a posting on ExecuNet which while not a surprise is still a source of an extra good feeling. In truth, and as much as I love hearing it, the ones that really make me feel good are the ones where members tell us of an experience where the linkages that come from effective networking have paid off for them in so many different ways.
I guess one of the reasons these are such a source of satisfaction for me is because quite often when someone first becomes a member while they tell us they understand the concept of networking (i.e. the what) where they are really uncomfortable is when it comes to the doing (i.e. the how).
I doubt there are many of us who have not seen the stats that have come from God only knows how many surveys by countless organizations over the years regarding how they made a job change. Networking is by far and away the most named source. Our own surveys put it at 70% of the time which is the reason we invest the time and energy we do in trying to provide members with the knowledge and tools and opportunities that help in acquiring the "how."
What got me thinking about this was an email that was forwarded to me by Judy Rosemarin who has facilitated our networking meetings in NYC for the past 13 years. The email was from David Clarke, who based on what he shared in his email is someone who clearly "gets it" and it certainly made both Judy and me smile. With David's permission, (I have masked the names of the others he mentions since I have not asked them it if is okay to use their names) he is what he had to say:
Judy - just thought I'd keep you posted, not to blow my own trumpet BUT you might be able to use these examples (in the abstract) at future Networking sessions to demonstrate to the attendees what CAN occur if people take the networking seriously......We have been hosting executive networking meetings around the U.S. and Canada now for more than 17 years. Many people have asked us why we would do that, especially in this day and age when people can collect thousands of electronic "business cards", etc. The answer is pretty simple; we do it because the hard data as well as the anecdotal data tell us that this is where the leverage lies. Said differently, the meetings (which have always been open to both members and non-members alike) give people one more venue where on a peer to peer basis they have the opportunity to expand their personal and professional network.
I have arranged for James to meet with a divisional CIO at McGraw-Hill next week - the guy is a buddy of mine, our kids are in school together and we were colleagues years ago.
I got Mark hooked up with my buddy who is the MD of a gaming software company. They are actually closing down but my buddy connected Mark to a Salomon Bros. contact who needs 'gaming technologists' for something they have in the works.
Hooked up with J. and we will speak on Friday after he has the details of his interview at D&B in the Business Dev./M&A team - he wants my help in that regard.
S. and I emailed and have connected, but nothing specific. Arthur has me hooked up with the Gerson-Lehrman group.
By close-of-play today I should have S. the contacts in the Leadership Council group to get her the "ins" she needs for her target co's.
All this in 24 hours from 1 meeting - that's what is possible if each and everyone attending 'plays the game’
For sure anytime you show up someplace where you may or may not know someone there it can feel a bit uncomfortable (another reason why all the meetings are professionally facilitated) and to some degree it is a bit of a crap shoot in terms of what you might take away from it.
That said, however, those who come to such an event with the right attitude which can come under a variety of phrases starting with "play it forward" up to an including David's "play the game" I believe "get it" and as a result will find what can be a very tough time much easier to deal with, and as I said at the outset, as a "recovering HR person" that really makes me feel good.