Friday, September 19, 2008

Mr. Rogers Networking Neighborhood

Like most companies, we set aside a couple of days a year to lock ourselves up somewhere out of the office and do the best we can to step back from the day to day and try and do two things:

1. Look ahead a few years and talk about where we are versus where we want to be, and

2. Make sure that our core beliefs continue to support the strategies we set for ourselves going forward.

In the course of our discussions, our CMO, Tony Vlahos was taking us through a discussion about the experience of being a member of a career and business network such as ExecuNet.

Aside from being very creative, Tony has a gift for painting extraordinary word pictures when he is trying to make a point. Actually he just has a way with words no matter what he's talking about.

In any event, we were talking about the hows, whys and ways of trying to help members to help each other and Tony concluded his presentation on the subject with a quote from Fred Rogers. It was one that I had not heard before but which I thought really hit home in terms of why we talk to our members all the time not just about networking, but much more importantly about effective networking. Translation: it about giving, not about getting.

What I so liked about this particular quote from the icon in the cardigan sweater is that he really is talking about the fundamental foundation upon which all meaningful relationships are built.

Be it related to your own career or your business these are not bad words to have pasted on your mirror or on the wall of your office:

“If you could only sense how important you are to the lives of those you meet; how important you can be to the people you may never even dream of. There is something of yourself that you leave at every meeting with another person.”

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