Wednesday, November 5, 2014


One part of qualifying candidates for sales jobs today is their number of "connections" on LinkedIn (and other social networks). One's presence in the social space can be a game changer.... it's also really easy to game the system. You might have 1,500 connections on LinkedIn but how many of them would drop everything to meet with you? How many people in your network have any relevance to your occupational development? If you contacted your LinkedIn connections one-by-one how many would reply, "how do I know you"......?

A Rolodex is one thing. Genuine connections are something completely different. The only thing worst than a sales person is a person who has no sales training trying to sell someone something. Long ago, Keith Ferrazzi introduced vulnerability and generosity as concepts of genuine connection in the social space, he nailed it! Having been in sales for nearly 20 years, I can identify an impostor from a mile away (most of them are not in sales). 

It is not the number of contacts you have in your network, it is how you utilize your privilege to interact. Most people are surprised if you are able to network without asking for something. 

Got Hugs?
Want to identify the real difference between a business relationship and a true partnership.... when you meet your contact in the lobby do they hug or shake hands?

It matters... The greatest contacts I have in business have been in the trenches with me: I have held their hand in an airport bar when they found out their wife had cancer, I have put my hand on their shoulder when their son failed to report to court (again), I've buried my head in their shoulder to hide my tears when I found out my mom had cancer (again). That's the real stuff, most of us can hide it, when we don't feel obligated to hide... we are home!

How many genuine connections do you make each day? Not friends added to your network but genuinely human interactions. Will he or she with whom you meet be willing to share a personal detail with you? Would they explain their lack of concentration on their failing marriage (and ask for your advice)? 

It is easy to watch your top performer succeed... It is far more difficult to make an ugly duckling a swan. Most leaders bank their points with their top performers and give up on the ugly ducklings only to dismiss their responsibility to their failure. 

You hire people, and when you do, you take responsibility for their livelihood. If your employees fail, it is your fault! The good lord gave us all free will, most people will abuse it if you give them too much rope. 

Priorities and Privileges matter. Your job should be your #1 priority.... raising your children is a privilege. Let's not confuse the two. 

Your measure of success are the lost souls whom you have given a home, the ship to which you have affixed a rudder, and the number of hugs you receive every day!

Don't Forget to Remember!


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