This is my first “must read of 2013”, it’s on the desks of almost every leader I know. This is a book so filled with value, I’ve read it three times in less than a month. There’s SO much here – it’s five books in one! Let’s dive in to why I feel every person in my network should read this book… 1. Sales is dead. We’re all in sales now. The internet was supposed to destroy sales. Well video did NOT kill the radio star, nor did the web kill the role of face to face sales in business. What it did was push volume sales online and make every media user a marketing machine. The customer is the buyer and the seller because they have every bit of information they need but face to face interpersonal skills are more important than ever. It’s no longer caveat emptor (buyer beware) it’s caveat venditor ( seller beware, we the customer know as much if not more than you about your own product now! ).
*Warning–Alec has a potty mouth.
No one likes to be sold. Daniel references the movie Glengarry Glen Ross, like many people I had only seen this famous scene ( *Warning, crazy explicit language!!! ) but I went back and watched the whole movie. It reminds you how dark sales can be. This is the salesman that the internet killed. Good riddance. But if we’re all in sales now we could use some skill building right? That’s what the first section of this book focuses on, the new ABC’s of ‘authentic influence’. For professionals who hate the idea of sales, being of professional service is your new goal and the book lays out a perfect roadmap. Even things like body language, the concept of why adapting to the other person is something I wrote a chapter on in Mark Bowen’s book for sales professionals. Daniel mentions the huge power of asking better questions and mentions a topic I love, Solutions Focus. A special thanks Dan for the shout out to the fact that fundraising IS part of this world of influence. Nice to see social-profit tips on ‘content curation’ from Beth Kanter in the book too! 2. The rise of the Ambivert Susan Cain set 2012 on fire with “Quiet: The Power of introverts”. I spent a lot of time sharing this book last year. A thousand people in my network bought it and confessed it gave them great comfort – that they’re not “useless” because they’re not an Extrovert. But many often said to me “we’ll I’m in between the two”. Dan shares the incredible power of having a foot in both camps, and how we can be comfortable growing our strengths as “Ambiverts” ( are you one? test yourself here ). 3. “Pitching” in a web and wired world. This part of the book is almost worth the price alone! Some peers in my network are setting up pitch-nights to help each other develop how to talk about what they do in “one word” for discussion, networking, email and yes even Twitter ( bless you Dan for acknowledging that social business is a big force to be reckoned with in 2013 and beyond! ). Communicate better, dump the sales talk – focus on clarity! Powerhouse chapter, I highly recommend you watch the video below on this topic. 4. Leading with your ears. I know, everyone says “listening is important” in relationship building. But no one every say exactly why, and exactly how to do it. Dan goes deep into how to listen with your body. How to listen deeply, honestly and even learn how to improvise as part of your listening. Probably the most unique and usable business resource on this done to death topic I’ve read in a decade. 5. Servant Leadership This is a topic close to my heart. Most people know that I live to serve others. Partly it’s an expression of my faith life but it is also my personal business mission statement. It’s a lifestyle and business strategy that defines me, Paul Nazareth. So to read about how Daniel values this as part of the new sales ‘must-have’ attitude and skill set is nice. Especially since much of my motivation is combating many of the unsustainable management styles built around fear, micromanagement and intimidation I see so often. So – I’m betting on this book. I’ve bought a dozen copies to give away during the year. I predict big things for it and highly recommend it. Four items on the sheer awesome business power of Dan & this book:
- Daniel’s interviews with best selling authors
- NPR audio interview with Dan on listening & ambiverts
- Harvard Business interview with Dan on the book
- A resource board I’ve created of articles on the book
Watch the launch below but below that is a fantastic video on “pitching”. Thanks for reading, please share this post with your network! Paul
I often get asked “What does your twitter handle mean?” Three years ago I wrote a long version, here’s the short answer. After trying to pull people I care about, in my life and at work, to success and having to fight them, convince them of my sincerity I got tired. It didn’t work. So I gave myself permission to do two things: 1. Be a servant. In Daniel Pink’s new book “To Sell Is Human” he shares the business power of leadership from the trenches alongside the troops, not out front or in the ivory tower. Something the great Tom Peters teaches in 3 minutes here. 2. Shut up and listen. By using better questions, another thing Dan mentions in his book. Using a wonderful strategy called “Solutions Focus” – I get to show up and just be present to listen, respond and empower solutions to meet the needs of my peers, donors and now clients. I do this at work, and over 150 mornings a year. I can’t invite you to success, it’s a party that YOU must invite YOU to. And when you are ready. I’ll be there. My whole life philosophy summed up in this brilliant TED talk by Ernesto Sirolli – it’s worth watching. ( If you have ADD, skip to 5mins ) Paul
This is a story about the most powerful paradigm shift of my life. It was a time where I had found considerable career success, but the future was a boring linear path – defined by momentum, not intention, doing at best 40% what I loved. I was losing steam at work, angry at the 60% holding me back. I was lost in my problems, and my team was obsessed with finding blame over winning battles. I was losing the war. Enter Alan Kay. Introducing me to the Solutions Focus truly changed every part of my life by doing three things, the focus of the method:
Now, just a few years later. Let me tell you, I have EVERYTHING I wanted when I defined that future. And the method is simple. Looking at my original picture from my notes – you can see. This is not rocket science. Alan is even featured in the international 2nd Edition, out soon. Alan has helped countless peers, organizations and businesses in my network since then. He has a special place in his heart ( and work ) for charities and social-profit organizations. The applications are numerous. A fundraising Director peer of mine has used it for work, career and loves Alan’s special set of SF interview questions. Canada’s “house doctor” Dr. Brian Goldman describes in this 2 minute video what Alan has done for him ( identical to my experience ). Most importantly, instead of promoting the use of the method, Alan has written a more practical ( and faster reading ) book to apply SF to your work. I highly recommend it, I highly recommend you call Alan if you’re looking to turnaround a business, a team, a life. A massive business read in 2013 is Dan Pink’s “To Sell is Human” in which he cites Solution Focus authors Dan & Chip in helping smart business professionals to ask better questions. Another big benefit of SF. Alan turned improved the quality of my life around so much I even created a personal networking MVP award, and he was one of the first winner. So, follow Alan on Twitter, another great source for SF learning is his international peer Coert Visser at @DoingWhatWorks. Here’s Alan and I talking about my experience with SF ( um ok, I’ve lost a little weight recently, not until I watched this video did I realize, I have to downsize my suits. Please join my wife in laughing at me) and below that a quick primer on Solutions Focus – I hope it’s as helpful to you as it was me! Paul
Do you know BNI? It’s the world’s largest business referral organization. I’m a big fan and I’ve visited several chapters in Canada. Today, I was the guest of the great folks at a B2B Chapter, Corporate Edge Toronto and was reminded of 3 reasons why BNI is the best business networking structure I’ve ever encountered. 1. John, the incoming President reminded us that networking resolutions are like health goals. Everyone says in January “I need to network, I need to network, I’ve got get out and network!” and they do. But come March, the gyms and the networking events are empty. Like already healthy people become fit because of the structure of a personal trainer, so do business professionals gain greater success by joining a highly structured group like BNI 2. Josh the current President is a business owner in IT. He confessed there are a LOT of people offering online marketing solutions. But none of his competition has a lawyer, photographer, speaking coach, designer and insurance consultant on staff. His trust built by meeting with his chapter members every week means they are like his own team. Together they engage in millions of dollars in closed business a year, they refer each other weekly, they create opportunities for each other weekly. At this meeting, someone on vacation has three referrals waiting for him when he gets back – this is not a network being nice, it is a referral machine at work. 3. I’ve blogged before about a chapter I really love, and the power of the 45 second stand up pitch. That you’re timed and cut off, you’re critiqued for improvement and primed for success. I can’t stress the structure that BNI brings to ever part of their meetings. That they track networking sit downs, dollars referred, recommendations are read aloud. It’s the kind of positive environment that breeds success, builds community and relationships of great value. “Givers Gain” is their motto. I love that abundance attitude. I have received so much training and prosperity at the hands of this organization, I can’t wait to join myself in time. Perhaps you need to look up and visit the chapter closest to you? Have to thank my personal host today, Jeff Good who I know because he helps my social-profit charity network specializing in real-estate rental or purchase for nonprofits. If you love networking, here is BNI’s founder sharing the 10 traits of master networkers and below a 2 min video on BNI, FYI. Enjoy! Paul
Note: This blog post has a soundtrack, go to the bottom and hit play on the video. One of the cool things my alma mater UofT does is host alumni networking events called “Dinner with 12 Strangers”. I’ve happily hosted about four over the past few years, what an amazing way to meet a diverse set of future world-changers! Several of us keep in touch and one great student asked me to come speak to at a gathering of young scientists about “the science of networking” recently. Speaking at Science expo on this topic really reminded me about a topic I feel passionately about – the power of thinkers.
You’ve no doubt heard me ranting last year about one of the most globally recognized business books on introverts. I’ve even created a resource page for the many lawyers, scientists, writers who don’t know about Susan Cain’s powerful work. Inside most people who don’t think they can network is a ton of value, waiting to get out. Enter the science of networking – building the technical skills to communicate what you are passionate about. Nothing more. No selling, bragging, shouting – none of that extrovert stuff. Here are just some of the books I recommend to build those skills. In 2013 Mark Bowden, one of my favourite authors has a great book coming out, here is a great video from him on of the most critical skills in network – Listening!
Release your inner networking ninja! In the meantime, enjoy this great song that I think should be the soundtrack to great networking, Paul Nazareth
It’s almost ironic that this blog is called “”Adventures in Networking” because this is a story of a truly adventurous networking meeting, far beyond the walls of my beloved Starbucks. Jaime Stein is a guy I’ve been trying to meet with for over a year, our schedules just never came together. We are very similar in some ways, but with all humility he is me to the power of 2. Yes we both recently have had two boys, moved into financial institutions, love our alma mater UofT and have a healthy obsession with the future of “social business”. But whereas I’m a novice, his business IS social. Whereas I read hundreds of business books and learn informally he worked his butt off to get his MBA via the Rotman morning program and rocked it. We met last week to network in a very odd way, you see Jaime is about to climb Mount friggin Kilimanjaro to help build Canada’s first National Public Cord Blood Bank. He’s part of the C-Suite cabinet. Instead of training on his own with earplugs in his ears this networking genius decides to open up his hikes super social. Opens his schedule on Googledocs and invites his entire network to come for a walk and talk. So we walk. 3 hours, 13 kilometres on the Toronto lakeshore. I learned so much personally and professionally. From Jaime and his friend from the CFL Eric Holmes who came too. Y’know Steve Jobs and a lot of other gamechangers were big fans of the walk and talk. I’m a big advocate of the walk and think. In 2013 I think I need to conduct more meetings like this. Here’s Jaime’s post on our walk. I encourage you to follow Jaime on Twitter, follow his networking adventure leading him to Kilimanjaro via #KilihikeTO and the climb team at #Climb4Cord . If you are moved to do so, please donate too. Thank you Jaime for a true adventure in networking. I’m proud to be part of team Orange Scarf, good luck on the climb. You have my donation, my support and my gratitude for inspiration and education. Paul Nazareth Ps. Since we’re both social media junkies. My gift to you. Your own meme