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Posts Tagged ‘Chris Brogan’

Keith Ferrazzi – “Personal Network” Survey

October 29, 2010 3 comments

As you will know if you have read this blog before, I like the work of Keith Ferrazzi. His books “Never Eat Alone” and “Who’s Got Your Back” are great reads if you want to get an understanding of the dynamics behind building a Personal Network. The style is a little “American” for a shy, retiring Brit like myself – but the principles are good. As you can see from the banner above – he’s much more in to rubbing shoulders with the famous than is realistic for us mere mortal Personal Networkers!

With the success of his books, Keith has followed up with “The Relationship Masters Academy”. I’ve seen a good

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review of it from one of my LinkedIn contacts – Peter Osborne who runs Bulldog Simplicity blog. He says: “As someone who participated in Keith’s Relationship Management Academy, I can tell you that Keith’s teachings will indeed change the way you approach relationship-building.” He also offers this link to download Keith’s “Executive Relationship Management Blueprint”, which is basically a “cheat sheet for everything Keith teaches”.

I found it very interesting to receive an invitation from Keith today for a Free Webinar on 4th November – “Networking Secrets for Thriving in Totally Screwed-Up Times!” It’s unfortunately at 9pm US time (so in the middle of the night in the UK) – however, they will send a link to a recording of the session.

To sign up, there is a brief survey – and low and behold … the first 4 questions are about “Personal Networks”. Give it a try – I’m chuffed to seeing the term getting more usage (as you know from previous posts – the term hardly registers on Google at the moment).

There’s an interesting study in Chris Brogan & Julien Smith’s book “Trust Agents” about how the term “Lifestyle Design” was unknown until Tim Ferriss promoted the idea in his book “4-Hour Workweek”. Maybe I can get “Personal Network” to the same status (with a little help from Keith!).

Gentle Networking

October 15, 2010 4 comments

As you will know from previous posts – I really like the work/blogs/books of Chris Brogan. He’s just launched a new blog called Escape Velocity – and one of the first blog posts he has created is about “Gentle Networking”.

I can’t think of a better term to describe “how to” develop a Personal Network. His post is full of popular themes:-

GIVING

“it’s not what people can do for you; it’s what you can do for others.”

“That’s the secret. If you can do a lot for a lot of people without needing

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the money, then the bigger ticket paybacks end up being amazing, and you end up having a strong and powerful network.”

“you MUST do these things without EXPECTING anything back. This is the super secret (and really really really hard to learn) part of this.”

This mantra is called “Pay it Forward” by Neal Schaffer, “Giver’s Gain” by Dr. Ivan Misner, “Don’t keep score” by Keith Ferrazzi and “Love Cats” by Tim Sanders.

FARMING – NOT HUNTING

“However, you can’t rush networking. You can’t rush friendship. You can’t rush the serendipity effect that happens from these experiences. Just like you can’t dig a hole, throw some seeds in, and wait a few minutes for the apple to fall into your hand, you have to grow your network slowly, and feed it value. You have to find opportunities to tend it, to give it light (by promoting others), and you have to give it plenty of water (or potential deal flow) to make it worthwhile.”

“We’ve connected each other with others in our networks. THIS is the longer value yield of gentle networking.”

Again, Dr. Ivan Misner’s puts this forward in his book “Networking Like a PRO” – and others follow the theme.

Chris is keen on “a face to face connection”. I’m also a fan of “real-life” relationships – and find that on-line networking is a poor substitute. However, I would take the view that with distant contacts (weak ties) on-line is an effective way to “ping” and keep in touch. I’m coming to the conclusion that the Pareto principle should be prescribed to networking time – 20% on-line (communicating efficiently with the many) and 80% real world (building deeper relationships with the few).

Chris’s “Gentle Networking” pulls together many of the key principles of Personal Networking so neatly. Do subscribe to Chris’s Escape Velocity blog and newsletter – it’s a good read (and hopefully a healthy supplement to this blog!).

C.R.I.S.T. – Now I RELIABLY know who I should Trust!

September 5, 2010 3 comments

I finished Chris Brogan and Julien Smith’s book “Trust Agents” while on holiday. It’s inspirational – with nuggets and ideas throughout. I tried out a new method for marking up interesting points in the book – using Snopake Index Tab Arrow High Lighters – as you can see from the picture there were lots of gems! Think the arrows will work out more expensive than buying the book…

The book is definitely a 5 star rating – I really like their style and ethos. Key points being that you should focus on building relationships – and sales will

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eventually come to you. Becoming an Agent Zero (getting in the centre of things) is important. Also, as mentioned in my last post, they argued that it’s OK to break Dunbar’s number and have more than 150 contacts (but only in each different network).

My favourite section was the Trust Test. Chris and Julien have adapted a formula originally thought up by David Maister, Charles H. Green and Robert M. Galford in “Trust Adviser” (another one for my reading list!). They put forward that Trust has 4 components that can be put together in an equation that gives a value for trusworthiness! Cool… And here it is:-

(C x R x I)/S = T

So Trust is calculated by multiplying Credibility by Reliability by Intimacy and dividing by Self-Orientation.

Credibility = the quality of being convincing or believable. Higher score the better
Reliability = consistently good in quality and performance. They turn up on time.
Intimacy = the measure of the closeness of your relationship. Feeling comfortable with someone. It’s an emotional judgement
Self-Orientation = low self-orientation would be if you had enough confidence to recommend a better competitor. High self-orientation would be the guy who is only interest in you because they want to make a sale (and now!). Lower score is better here – as it’s divided in to the other factors.

It made me think about the people in my network who I inherently like – but often don’t totally trust. Later in “Trust Agents”, Julien and Chris hit the issue on the head – “RELIABILITY IS THE BIG SECRET”. Interestingly, the other factors are more linked to people’s character (and hard to change/train) – however, there is no real excuse for not being reliable (it’s a matter of personal commitment). None of us are perfect on that score (I have in my head a particular apology I need to send after completing this post to someone I forgot to thank for a bit favour – whoops!) – but reliability is the thing we all could work on to make sure we gain others trust.

Thank you Messieurs Maister, Green, Galford, Brogan and Smith for this equation and insight into Trust and Reliability in your Personal Network.

150 Connections on LinkedIn – should I retire on Dunbar’s Number?

September 3, 2010 4 comments

The day has come when the worlds of Dunbar’s number (which I love/respect/believe in) and my LinkedIn connections coincide! It’s been a tricky 24 hours, when the LinkedIn counter hit 149 – and my commitment and belief in Robin Dunbar’s number (150) collided.

Typical of my active and creative mind, I tried to find several routes around this:-

1. Find a justification for not complying to Robin’s thinking… Well – I’ve just been reading Chris Brogan and Julien Smith’s Book “Trust Agents”. On page 226 they give me the perfect opt out by

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saying “The Web allows us to work within Dunbar’s number. It means that we can build business relationships in different ways: Instead of just locally or in a specific vertical, we can channel and stripe and slide in many different ways.” Read more on Chris’s blog. Great – I can have 150 people in lots of different places!!

2. Can I increase the number from 150?… Amazingly, the FT Weekend came up with just that. Page 30-31 of the Money Section last weekend had an article entitled “Build your connections, but go for quality, not quantity.” I can now safely increase my 150 to 250 … yipee. “Andy Lopata, who has built a business advising others how to network, claims that in an age of mass social networking, too many people concentrate on the quantity of connections they make rather the quality. “It is who needs you and what they say about you that counts, and that only comes from building better relationships, not necessarily more relationships,” he says. Lopata recalls a speaking engagement last year, where someone showed off the 2,000 contacts on his Blackberry address book. Lopata was not impressed. “My response was: ‘If you phone those 2,000 people, are they willing to take your call?’ If not, then you are just carrying around a telephone directory.” A philosophy that drives Lopata’s thinking is the Law of 250, the idea that there is an optimum number of contacts to acquire. The concept was made famous long before the advent of LinkedIn and Twitter by Joe Girard, an American salesman who earned a place in the Guinness Book of Records for his prowess at selling Chevrolet cars. Lopata admits that his own database of 4,000 contacts is too big, but qualifies his support of the Law of 250 by noting that good networkers also have a broad range of contacts. “You have to get the balance right,” he says.” Thank you Andy Lopata and Joe Girard – I can have another 100 connections!!!

3. Quit while I’m ahead/Go out with a bang… What better way to go – than to make your 150th connection on LinkedIn ….. ROBIN DUNBAR!! Well, I penned a small invite (my very first on LinkedIn to someone I did not directly know). Amazingly, Robin has only ONE connection on LinkedIn – go figure!!

The result was…. I received a reply back to my LinkedIn invite from the lovely Kathryn York. I’d invited Kathryn a month ago – and she finally came back to me to pop in as my number 150 connection! I am delighted. Kathryn is the Archivist at Wolfgang’s Vault in San Francisco. We met when she showed my son and myself around their music, video and art archives at Easter when we were stranded under the Ash Cloud. If you ever want to know about music from the 60s/70s/80s in the US – this is the lady!

Kathryn’s reply to my request to be a connection (and if she used LinkedIn much) was eloquent – “I don’t use Linkedin much, or my twitter or my facebook and myspace hasn’t seen me in so very long… I do know that folks find all of this does help with connecting (kind of like if I’d ever answer that ringing home phone), so I say thank you for reaching out and I shake your virtual hand with a connection acceptance!” Having a great Personal Network is a lot about diversity – and I’m very happy to have Kathryn in my 150!

I will await to see if Robin becomes my 151st connection (and his second) – but for now I will continue to extend my network onwards (and upwards from 150) with diverse, fun, stylish connections like Kathryn.

Holiday Reading, Tom Peters and the Cheshire Cat

August 25, 2010 3 comments

I am off on holiday in the morning – and I’m going to split my reading time between finishing off my current Personal Network book – “Trust Agents” by Chris Brogan and Julien Smith (I can hear you fellow bloggers saying “I can’t believe you’ve not read that already!”), digging in to a “leisure” read by one of my favourite authors, Michael Dobbs (his new book – “The Reluctant Hero”) – and using Tom Peters “The Brand You” as a workbook to help set my personal objectives.

If you’ve not tried “The Brand You” book by Tom Peters – it’s a brilliant read. Mick Cope (whose book “Personal Networking” I reviewed in an earlier blog post) recommended the book to me. Mick said: “I have always loved the Brand You stuff by Tom Peters – which although was picked up by

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some people – never really found its mark.” After ordering a copy (it’s a classic from 1999 – but not too hard to find) I read it within 48 hours. I have always liked the passion of Tom Peters. I remember during tricky times in my business during the early 1990s playing the audio tape of “Thriving on Chaos” over and over in car as I tried to work my way through the development/growing pains of my company. I have no less enthusiasm for Tom’s work revisiting his teachings some 20 years on.

On the inside cover of the book, he lists his key ideas around Brand You – which he expands through the book. I will certainly be spending time deliberating on many of these ideas and questions:-

* “Routinely asks the Question: WHO AM I?/WHAT DO I WANT TO BE?” – Very relevant after 4 years being “funemployed”
* “Pursues Mastery of something!” Can I really become a Master of Personal Networks – and can I use this Mastery to help others?
* “Selects Clients v-e-r-y carefully/Rejects Clients who are a bad match” Cool discipline to have … and I have no excuse because I don’t need the work. Nice position to be in – but don’t cock up and get distracted by wanting to be all things to all men….
* “Is a Rolodex Maniac/Networks like Crazy!” Well you can tell this is a 1999 book (no mention of Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc). Glad he really values the role of Personal Networks in success.
* “Is a ‘Renewal Fanatic’/Cultivates curiosity/Takes every opportunity to learn s-o-m-e-t-h-i-n-g new!” I love change – and I’m enthused by learning about Personal Networks. How to I keep this curiosity focussed?

So, a time to review with some good books. I think the three key areas that I need to investigate to help understand my Personal Network journey are:-

* Personal Branding. As Tom puts it “Your are the CEO of your Life” – so I’d best understand and be able to present my “brand”
* Social Networking. It’s the buzz of the moment – and I love the digital age – but how does this fit in to Personal Networks? I believe it’s a smaller, and less important, part of our life than people currently think.
* Personal Objectives. Where do I want to go? Otherwise, all other things don’t have a focus or fall in to place. The Cheshire Cat expresses this best in Alice in Wonderland:-

“Which road do I take?” (Alice)
“Where do you want to go?”
“I don’t know,” Alice answered.
“Then, said the cat, it doesn’t matter.”
“If you don’t know where you are going, any road will get you there.” (Cheshire Cat)

Holiday reading will be a lot less testing than the questions… Who I Am – and Where do I Want to Go!

Reading List – the research so far … and the summer reading shelf

As mentioned,  I have been running up my Amazon bill doing this Personal Network research.  See the picture of my Personal Network bookshelf…..

I’ve created a list on my LinkedIn Profile – http://uk.linkedin.com/in/philobr.  I would be interested

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if you have any other suggestions. List – as of this evening – is below.  I need to get reading….

Profit Power Economics: A New Competitive Strategy for Creating Sustainable Wealth

by Mia de Kuijper

See this book on Amazon »

Phil has read this book

Recommended

Comment: “Mia actually signed the book for me – I’d gone to shelter from the rain in Waterstones at the back of the LSE … and I could not resist. Fascinating read – especially if you transpose her thoughts on power nodes as the business units of the future …. to individuals. One day, I will be a power node…..”

Trust Agents: Using the Web to Build Influence, Improve Reputation, and Earn Trust

by Chris Brogan, Julien Smith

See this book on Amazon »

Phil wants to read this book

Comment: “Bought, on the shelf … and soon to be read!”

The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference

by Malcolm Gladwell

See this book on Amazon »

Phil wants to read this book

Comment: “In my bag for reading on holiday. Will do a short review soon. I found an extract on Malcolm’s blog – and he kindly game me permission to use on my blog. Nice guy.”

The 4-Hour Workweek, Expanded and Updated: Expanded and Updated, With Over 100 New Pages of Cutting-Edge Content.

by Timothy Ferriss

See this book on Amazon »

Phil has read this book

Recommended

Comment: “I’ve read it – I got my wife to read it … and I’m going to send a copy to a few friends. Tim does a great job on getting you focussed on what is important in life. thought provoking….”

Different: Escaping the Competitive Herd

by Youngme Moon

See this book on Amazon »

Phil wants to read this book

Comment: “On the shelf – and will be read soon!”

Six Pixels of Separation: Everyone Is Connected. Connect Your Business to Everyone.

by Mitch Joel

See this book on Amazon »

Phil has read this book

Recommended

Comment: “Would thoroughly recommend this book. Mitch Joel is one of the ever increasing band of Canadians setting the digital networking and blogging world on fire. This book got me over the line to create my blog – and is a great read.”

Who’s Got Your Back: The Breakthrough Program to Build Deep, Trusting Relationships That Create Success–and Won’t Let You Fail

by Keith Ferrazzi

See this book on Amazon »

Phil is reading this book

Comment: “This is on my summer list – and I’m about 1/3rd of the way through. I do like that even though Keith is obviously a confident guy – he will share how he has got things wrong and helps others to learn through the occasional failure. More soon….”

Never Eat Alone: And Other Secrets to Success, One Relationship at a Time

by Keith Ferrazzi, Tahl Raz

See this book on Amazon »

Phil has read this book

Recommended

Comment: “Keith Ferrazzi is a leader in the world of networking. This books gives a great overview for anyone who wants to improve their networking skills. It’s a little “american” for a Brit like myself … we are a pretty reserved race. However, the principles and tips are excellent – and the principles sound. “

Six Degrees of Connection: How to Unlock Your Leadership Potential (Volume 1)

by Liz Dow

See this book on Amazon »

Phil wants to read this book

Comment: “I’ve bought this – and had a quick skim. I am going to read after the “Tipping Point” by Malcolm Gladwell – which this book and Liz’s work was inspired by.”

Brilliant Networking: What the Best Networkers Know, Do, and Say

by Steven D’Souza

See this book on Amazon »

Phil wants to read this book

Comment: “Brilliant (BRIGHT) cover – and an amazing quote/speech from Robert Muller of the UN in the intro/preface. On the reading list for the summer”

Personal Networking: How to Make Your Connections Count

by Mick Cope

See this book on Amazon »

Phil wants to read this book

Comment: “Bought from amazon – and on the reading list. I like the FT business books – I used one of these books (on Business Plans) as a reference throughout my business life. Looking forward to reading.”

Social Network Analysis: Methods and Applications (Structural Analysis in the Social Sciences)

by Stanley Wasserman, Katherine Faust

See this book on Amazon »

Phil wants to read this book

Comment: “Now – we are talking SERIOUS book here. Dan (my technical partner) and myself are battling for who reads this one first. I was attracted by the fact the book series was edited by Mark Granovetter (who developed the idea of “strength in weak ties” in the 70s). Will be a challenge to read … with my little brain…!”

How Many Friends Does One Person Need?: Dunbar’s Number and Other Evolutionary Quirks

by Robin Dunbar

See this book on Amazon »

Phil wants to read this book

Comment: “I’d read about the principle that you should have/only need 150 friends/contacts. Research lead me to Robin Dunbar (this is called the Dunbar Number). In the bag to be read this summer.”

Six Degrees: The Science of a Connected Age (Open Market Edition)

by Duncan J. Watts

See this book on Amazon »

Phil wants to read this book

Comment: “On my reading list – and on the shelf. Will get read this summer.”

Connected

by Christakis, Nicholas A., Fowler, James H.

See this book on Amazon »

Phil wants to read this book

Comment: “This is waiting to be read on my shelf. Flick through says that it’s going to be a great resource to understand about visualising Personal Networks.”

Bursts: The Hidden Pattern Behind Everything We Do

by Albert-Laszlo Barabasi

See this book on Amazon »

Phil wants to read this book

Comment: “The follow up to “Linked” – on my shelf and ready to be read this summer.”

Linked: How Everything Is Connected to Everything Else and What It Means

by Albert-Laszlo Barabasi

See this book on Amazon »

Phil has read this book

Recommended

Comment: “This is the very best book to give an overview of how similar our personal networks are to other networks (all the way down to chemical protein!!). He guides you through with anecdotes and thorough research. A copy should be on the shelf of anyone serious about networking.”

Love Is the Killer App: How to Win Business and Influence Friends

by Tim Sanders

See this book on Amazon »

Phil has read this book

Recommended

Comment: “Really enjoyable – and quick – read. Love his principle of being so positive in the business environment. I share his views on focussing on giving/doing the right thing … but as a Brit, not sure about all the hugging!! Buy and give your nice side a run out at work….”

Networking Like a Pro: Turning Contacts into Connections (Paperback)

by Ivan Misner (Author)David Alexander (Author) Brian Hilliard (Author)

See this book on Amazon »

Phil has read this book

Recommended

Comment: “This is a very good book to give you a view of the process of networking. Ivan Misner is an authority on the subject – and runs the BNI (which is heavily promoted throughout). Gives a good overview fo the principles of how networks work.”

“Personal Network” Network

One thing that I believe has been a strength during my life is the ability that when I want to steer a new course or check out new ideas is to ask the people I know who they know.   With my Personal Network’s help I have managed to get so some amazing places – and develop interesting projects (both business and personal).

The other skill that I use when I am trying to develop a strategy for a new project (often away from my core knowledge and competence) is to devour information and learn as much as I can before getting to know people in a new area.

Well, here I am – in the area of Personal Networks – and I really know nobody who

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is knowledgeable or important!  Well, actually, there is one person – Mrs Moneypenny, the Financial Times extraordinary anonymous networker!  More on her later….

As mentioned, I do like to do my research before launching in to a project – so I’ve been avidly reading books, checking out blogs and diving in to the occasional bit of academic research (which does stretch my brain a little too far!).  The result is – that the first visualisation (or visualization if you are American) project has been to map out the “Personal Network Experts” that I have identified through books, blogs, the academic world, etc.  As of today, I know one person in this network (and a very tenuous link to another) – but it is my challenge over the coming months to make an intro and try to develop a relationship and build up trust so they can become part of my “Personal Network” Network (think I’ll start to abbreviate that to PNN!).

This first network diagram has been produced in a mind mapping software that I like to use for project to-do lists called Mind Meister.  I think it’s a fun way of giving me a “helicopter” view of things.

“Personal Network” Network – Mindmap on Mindmeister

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