Thursday, December 5, 2013
This afternoon a competitor is coming to my offices. "Why let him in," my partners asked. "Opportunity," I replied. "Opportunity for whom?" they grumbled.
"Think of it as networking and you'll feel better," I thought, but didn't speak out loud to my two Partners who are both tough, smart and accomplished business women.
I always remember the masses of people who worked at Robert Half when I was there. If the "little guys" could work more effectively together, I think we'd all be better off. Instead we worry about each other. Well my Partners worry, I'm not so worried...
A good friend from Nebraska read this blog and the next time I talked to him I asked him what he thought. You know those people from the Midwest, they're not only honest, hardworking, patriotic, good looking and down to earth, but they're also smart! He said, "Ken, the blog's pretty good, but why in the world would you give away the keys to the castle?" The keys to the castle... I wondered what he meant. "You've got all your best information in there, all someone has to do is read your blog and they can do everything you do."
Wow, I thought. What am I doing? Had I gotten all caught up in the whole Internet thing and started blogging before I considered all the ramifications? The first rule of networking is to give first, but maybe I'm giving too much and maybe I shouldn't be giving to my competition.
I thought about it for a while and decided it was okay. First, I doubt any of my competitors are reading my blog. If they do, I hope it's during the day when I'm calling on their clients (I write these blog entries at night after work). Second, the benefit I get from giving first to candidates and clients far outweighs any competitive disadvantage I might create. Third, I am able to communicate my value very clearly through this blog. Our value proposition "connected, so we can connect you" is true and this blog is full of proof. Finally, I hope may people learn from this blog because it's good networking. The potential of networking is limitless so there is never any competition in networking.
My point is that in Networking it is always best to give first. For most people it's intangibles like information, expertise, support, etc. For me it's expertise and experience about networking provided generously, with optimism and with absolutely no fear of loss.
There is, however, competition in business and I think I'll be okay there as well. Take business lunches for example, if one of my competitors starts today and takes someone to lunch every day for five years, they will have gone to lunch with over 1,250 people. It would be an excellent effort, but not good enough. By that time I will have gone on almost 3,000 networking lunches and that'll still keep me 5 years ahead!
Thursday, November 28, 2013
Today is Thanksgiving in the United States (yes, there are Networkingnote.com readers who reside outside the USA who may not know what the day is all about). Ideally, Thanksgiving is spent with family, feasting and giving thanks for good blessings. It is the “official” start to the holiday season.
As I consider my blessings, I first think of my family. To Jill, my soul mate, back office and developer of three fine young men (2 Eagle Scouts and 1 well into the program), thank you; there is no better. Cheers also to my brother, in-laws, stepmother and the rest of my extended family.
Next, I think of my business partners. Project Pro Search has world-class talent. Have you met Lorraine Moos? If not, you should. She was once the #1 Girl Scout in all of India! I am so lucky. Michael Dugan is an honest and loyal partner who was with me in my living room when our business was just an idea. One great recruiter! Marvin, Debbie and Dan thanks for all you do.
The people in my network have helped me so much. In a way, you are also a part of my “family.” This blog is dedicated to communicating the power of relationships in creating Social Capital. You are the greatest and I wish all people could experience just some of the blessings I've had through relationships with you.
It has been so much more than a job offer or a purchase order. I am included on the good news of thousands and during hard times I am able to assist hundreds with ideas, support, information and sometimes even a job. It's a wonderful life and I am completely thankful.
We are successful in business because of you. There should be no way a small business can compete with the likes of Robert Half International, Resources Global Professionals, K-Force, Tatum and all the others, but because of you we are still in business and thriving during one of the worst economies in 60 years.
Saturday, November 16, 2013
My son Nathan is a student at the Haas Business School at UC Berkeley who is now in Spain in a study abroad program (Click for Nathan's blog) . He loves soccer and like many, many, many soccer fans, he thinks the Barca team is excellent. The problem for a starving student, however, is that tickets are very expensive and even if one has the cash, sold-out games are hard to get into. Nate has friends in Spain who tried to help him with tickets, but that's as tough as getting Super Bowl tickets in the USA. The best they could do was to offer good advice.
"Go to the stadium and beg," was basically the wise advice of his young "Spanish Expert" friends. Oh, and by the way, you had better do it in Catalan if you have any hope of success.
|2013 Barca vs AC Milan|
This must have been tough to hear for a young man who was struggling to speak basic Spanish and who, to best of my knowledge had never really had to beg for anything. That said, Nathan went to the stadium and asked for "entrades addicionals" [extra tickets]. On or about the 300th group that he "talked to," somebody took mercy on the boy and gave him a ticket. And what a ticket it was! Mid field, on the second or third level. Nathan was so excited and texted pictures to his wise friends in Spain and his brothers in the USA. He had a great time, Barca won and Messi scored a hat trick. Certainly a "once in a lifetime experience!"
Not for a good networker. At the end of the game Nathan asked for contact information and sent them a note of "GRACIAS." They replied with an offer that if they ever have an unused ticket, they would let him know. Well, so far, Nathan has seen all the Barca home games and recently sent pictures of a dinner party at the home of his soccer friends.
Like success, a large part of networking is just showing up. Sometimes it takes courage and persistence. Sooner or later the work pays off. If you want to make a connection, help someone's children. If that family comes to the USA they will get into any sporting event they desire, I would no doubt pay big bucks to stub hub for the family that supported my son far from home. But remember, it all started with his decision to network.
Thursday, September 26, 2013
[An Article Written for the FEI Newsletter]
I ride my bicycle for MS as a part of the KPMG All-Stars. I hate MS because my stepfather Max Smith had the disease when I was growing up and I’ve seen the ravages. MS, which has no known cause and no known cure, destroyed Max day-by-day, week-by-week, year-by-year. First, it attacked his body and then it went after the family and the finances. It’s tough to work when you can’t walk. My experience makes it easy for me to ride for MS, but my readers might wonder what this has to do with networking.
Each year I send an email out to my entire network requesting support for the MS ride (Donation Link: http://bit.ly/15rmNFb). I send it to everyone I know and I encourage the other members of the KPMG team to do the same, but few do it. I think they are afraid to impose. I respect that, but have realized that most people aren’t bothered and the ones who support the ride make a big difference for the cause. In other words, the benefit is far greater than the cost. In addition, it enables me to connect with others in a way that isn’t possible through other methods. It’s actually a very pure form of networking.
For example, every year I learn that 20 or 30 of my friends have either been struck with MS, or have close friends or relatives suffering from the disease. This knowledge brings us closer as they appreciate the work of the KPMG team and the MS Society. At the same time, I appreciate them and their support for my ride and the KPMG team. It all creates a deeper emotional connection and furthers our friendships.
Some people wonder what to talk about at the FEI meetings. Most members are serious people and some don’t like small talk. I don’t have that problem as most all of my friends at FEI are aware of my interest in eliminating MS and some support my ride. Frankly, I spend a meeting or two each year running around the room personally thanking those who support my ride. They feel good, I feel good, and we have something important to talk about.
Those of us who send out requests for support in turn receive requests for support. It’s a logical quid-pro-quo. I receive emails weekly with requests for support of great causes like eradiating cancer, heart disease, leukemia, diabetes, ALS, hunger, etc., and I support many of them. One might ask, “Wouldn’t it just be easier if we each gave to our own causes and stop sending all the emails?” Sure it would easier, but it wouldn’t be networking. I love learning more about what’s important to my friends and find it great to support what they support. It’s networking!
Yes, I need you to donate and no, it's never too late.
Link: Click Here to Donate
Wednesday, August 21, 2013
This week I am going to speak to a group of business people in Orange County about introductions. Some people call them elevator speeches; others call them 30 second commercials. I'm going to do the talk and certainly won't let down my good friend who invited me to speak, but frankly, I don't think these types of introductions are all that important and really haven't spent much time preparing mine.
As I prepared for the talk, I realized what really matters is listening to others. Some people think that with a good "30-second commercial" you can catch people's attention and jump-start a business relation. I think most people don't remember what they hear. One of the main reasons that they aren't listening is because they are mentally rehearsing their own "elevator speech" while the other person is delivering theirs. A lot of chatter, but nothing gets through.
My advice to the group, will be to keep introduction very short and to be unique and be valuable. 10 seconds is enough. A question or offer of assistance is always good. Finish and get back to listening and learning about others.
My goal as I meet new people is to select a few people to follow-up with. If you are selling, these are potential clients or referral sources. If you are not selling, you might pick interesting and noteworthy people to follow-up with.
My network of contacts is unique and valuable so my introduction will mention it and I will offer myself as a resource. 10 seconds will be more than enough time.
"My name is Ken Tudhope and I know more current and future CFOs in Orange County California than anyone else. If this network could be valuable to you, let me know. If you know a finance executive I may not know I'd love an introduction. Again, Ken Tudhope, Managing Director of Project Pro Search Group.”
My comment about "knowing more CFOs than anyone else" is a bit audacious and might be remembered. I might also be remembered for keeping the introduction short. I conclude the introduction by repeating my name and my company's name and that might also might be remembered, but I don't really expect people to remember me from an introduction.
I am remembered because I am consistent and generous. Call it what you will, I call it Networking.
Monday, July 29, 2013
Last week I was climbing Mr. Whitney and I had a HUGE headache. I sat down for a moment and this fellow came along. I said, “Hello” and he sat down. When I asked him how it was going he said, “Good, but I’m out of water.” I told him about my headache. He reached into his pocket and pulled out some aspirin and handed them to me. I reach into my packet and pulled out two bottles of water and gave him one. We drank, swallowed and proceeded to the top of the mountain together.
I always tell people that networking is not an event.
I think my encounter on the mountain is networking. Two people connecting and helping each other. It always starts with a greeting and can happen anywhere.
Monday, July 8, 2013
and He wants us to do the right thing...
This will be my third time up there so I have the proper respect for what is takes to make it to the top. Last weekend made my 7th assent of a local mountain this year. I have climbed Baldy 3 times, Cucamonga, Timber and this time I chose San Jacinto. San Jacinto is 10,600 and a significant climb even after using the tram. The hike covers approximately 5 miles starting at 9,000 ft. and ending at 10,800 ft. in elevation. I went with my friend Dr. David Howard ASM for Irvine troop 645 and Technical Fellow at Jazz Semiconductor. There was a steady flow of people, but still less than 50 that I saw all day. It was all good until I ran into a friend.
Next week I leave on a week-long backpacking trip in the Eastern Sierra. We plan to hike over the highest pass on the John Muir trail (more than 13,000 feet in elevation) and then climb Mt. Whitney on the last day. Whitney is over 14,500 feet and the highest mountain in the continuous lower 48 states.
About two weeks ago a friend left me a voice message asking if I'd help support a worthy activity he was involved in through his church. I definitely help with many of these requests but decided I would not help with this one. No problem, I'm sure my friend could have accepted a polite "No Thank You." Unfortunately I didn't return his call.
Like I said above, "there is a God and He wants us to do the right thing." What I didn't say is that he will chase you to the end (or the top) of the earth to teach a lesson when need be.
There I was at 10,000 feet on a lonely trail and who comes around the corner, the very person that I recently mistreated. There are 20,000,000 people in Southern California and less than 50 on that mountain and I run into him! Nowhere to hide on a single track trail through the forest. It was embarrassing.
I don't always have to donate, but I do have to return calls, especially if I want to build a network and not destroy it.
I don't always have to donate, but I do have to return calls, especially if I want to build a network and not destroy it.
Another networking lesson learned.