A tip right from LinkedIn and the Endorsements conundrum

How often do you get to attend a talk by an actual employee of LinkedIn? I was lucky enough to do so this week and he left me with a profound thought, a very practical tip and momentum for a concern I’ve had for weeks. PerryMonacoHis name is Perry Monaco and although he had a long career in recruiting, he wasn’t the pinstriped-suit business type I expected from LinkedIn. His twitter handle is @ElvisRun as he loves Elvis and runs marathons. Perry’s speaking session started quirky and unTED-like. It made me uncomfortable. Then I realized that he was telling a story, his story, and what he was here to do for us. His connection with the group came slower than traditional talks, but it was a stronger connection because he took the time to tell us who he was, storyprofessionally but with personality. It was brilliant. His most powerful tip that he left me with, goes beyond what I often call LinkedIN, a digital handshake. Perry tells us it should tell “your career story”. Where you’ve been, what you do now, and where you are going. Moving beyond resume, to  relationship – after all isn’t that why people look you up on LinkedIn? Working for LinkedIn gives Perry insight into the search algorithm that no one else, even I a LinkedIn evangelist/obsessionist can ever hope to know. His practical tip? Get your designations like your degree or DogBizcertification ( CFRE for fundraisers ) out and off your title line. It actually pushes you down in the search algorithm. I asked at the session where it could go instead, education and your summary section was the answer. That’s a HUGE tip as it has classic real-estate on business cards and I’ve counselled people before to put it there, heck you earned the designation why not celebrate it! Always something to learn. I leave you with a thought and question. Perry shared that he’s never had as many questions as he’s had around LinkedIn’s newest feature, Endorsements. Either have I. Of course it’s because they are a “push” and the have LinkedIn sending you emails when you get one. It’s confused and concerned many users. At first, I was concerned as it felt much like Facebook “Likes” and everyone knows how much I dislike Facebook. Then ego set in, at the time of this post I have over 525 endorsements – I am humbled and grateful for every single one of them. But as my buddy Al says, vanity is the devil’s favourite sin. In a great conversation with a peer of mine this week he told me that he too is flattered but several people endorsing him aren’t qualified to do so. I have more endorseendorsements than every one of my business mentors combined, am I more skilled than them? That’s not just laughable but concerning it might look that way to the untrained eye. Criticizing LinkedIn brings me pain, it’s brought me personal success, powerful business relationships but this is a worry that has to be voiced. Here is the BEST read on my personal concerns around this feature, it’s a must read for any LinkedIn power-user. And in the other corner a thought on why they rock. In 2013, social business is how work will work, not just for small business but all business. This week I had a solid business referral come through twitter. And so I’ll continue to explore it, I hope you’ll join me. I leave you with a great video to remind any sceptic why business professionals need better digital social-skills – enjoy. Purple       Paul

Remembering to Remember : November 11

PaulTower As Canadian treasure Rick Mercer says in the great video below he felt like a “holier than thou tool” when he reminded someone about Remembrance Day. Not my intention to guilt or preach with this post. It’s something that means a lot to me, as I’ve been on the Soldiers’ Tower Committee at UofT for the better part of a decade. I’m lucky to be one of the only non-military, non-Veteran, non-older members. Why? Me personally, I’m the child of immigrants to Canada. It is a home that has given my family prosperity, peace and joy. When I was at UofT and wandered into Canada’s 2nd largest war memorial and saw the pictures of students like me who went to war to protect the country I enjoy – there was an instant connection. This wonderful group of peers took me in, allowed me to contribute and has taught me so much about the real story of sacrifice and the history of world war. And so each year now, I take the day off to join my fellow team mates as we coordinate the Remembrance Day ceremonies at the University of Toronto. To reflect and remember in my own personal way. Many ceremonies will happen today, some will happen on Sunday. Wpoppyherever you are like Rick below, I just encourage you to join me to remember to Remember. Many thanks to the new Canadian Veterans in my network, the soldiers and reservists who protect us today, tomorrow and beyond. Paul

My Top Books for Business Networking 2012

networking2012Almost one year ago, I shared my top books of 2011 and it continues to be my most popular blog post, read and shared by thousands world-wide. We’re heading into 2013, so it is high time to update this list! An important note, please click on book or title as I have written a separate post for many of the books. Enjoy, again please share! Even I’m surprised to report that no one has knocked the #1 book off it’s workthepontperch! Work the Pond is still in the top of the Canadian business book list ten years after it was published. Why? It’s still the most readable, the most approachable to all ages, career types and the science of networking is something people really appreciate reading about. It continues to be the one book I personally feel anyone can pick up, get through and feel they have learned from. I have given away dozens of copies and personally own over 25 copies myself. They float in and out of my life on a monthly basis in my coaching and mentoring. bizcards2Coming in at number two is a 2012 supersized republished edition of Business Cards to Business Relationships! I’m so glad that Allison Graham the author of this book chose to rework and republish this book. It focuses not just on connecting but “building a profitable network”. It’s the “must-read” for the business set and the ultimate gift for the b-school graduate or career minded peer in your life. Making a NEW appearance on this list is the “LinkedIn Log”. I’ve been an lilogenthusiast of LinkedIn for quite some time now. But in 2013 it will no longer be a secret handshake, it has moved into the mainstream and career minded professionals of any sector can’t ignore this digital rolodex any more. This tiny little workbook ( not a textbook you actually fill it out ) is as small as a passport and can be filled out at a Starbucks in 20 minutes! Then, with confidence that you’re representing yourself in your own works, you create/update and upload your new profile. Anquite-bookother new edition but familiar topic is the world of the “Introvert” or as I feel they should be called “thinkers”. Susan Cain’s book has rocked the free world. Her TED talk was one of the fasted viewed in the history of TED and she has been featured in almost every business media in the Western world ( check out this digital scrapbook I’ve made of her articles and videos ). If you are one or work with a thinker this is a MUST read, and a fascinating one too! rainmakingMoving up a notch to number 5 is Mark Maria’s book on “rainmaking”. There will never be a slow down in lawyers, financial planners, insurance professionals and accountants in this world. They need a special book on bringing in business and no one can hold a candle to Maria’s methodical strategy. keithAt #6 one of the most read books on networking in the world continues to be Keith Ferrazzi’s “Never Eat Alone” and his follow uwhosegotyourbackp book, the less intense but more authentic “Who’s got your back”. There aren’t many books I would call an “enjoyable read” but that’s still Ferazzi’s strength. I have grown so much more respect for one of the concepts he continues to champion, growing your own personal board of directors. Burgundy red hardback book (XL)#7 moves out of the honourable mentions into the spotlight because it too has been republished and reworked to add way more value. Mark Bowden’s “Winning Body Language for Sales” will give anyone more confidence in how they communicate nonverbally and out loud. I’ll remind readers it’s a book not just about sales but about the building of relationships in business. It will help you to be you best and most authentic self when under pressusan3sure. #8, how could I not mention the author with her own library of susan1titles to choose from! Susan Roane is the international Queen of Connecting, the Mingling Maven. She has a book to help you at whatever stage of networking you need help with and was the first to mention the importance of a digital profile before anyone else on this list. My last book is an unconventional but important read for 2013. I have nounmarketing_book interest in the “social” side of social media. Social business is what I want to know more about. And no one has captured the “why” of social business like Scott Stratten in his book “UnMarketing” ( and if you want to know more about the “how” pick up his latest book, “The Book of Business Awesome/UnAwesome” ) My bookshelf on networking tops more than 75 now, I’ve had to put down so many in disappointment. But! There are several I have to mention because as they aren’t strictly about networking they continue to be the BEST books on the mechanics of human connection. When people ask me about the best of the best in my networking library, it is not complete without these five books:

  1. Fascinate by Sally Hogshead
  2. Convince them in 90 Seconds by Nicholas Boothman
  3. Turn Small Talk Into Big Deals by Don Gabor
  4. Enchantment by Guy Kawasaki
  5. The Connectors by Maribeth Kuzmeski

socialmediaThank you for visiting and sharing this post with others in your network via Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest and whatever new medium comes our way in 2013! Please add your favourites to the comments section below! Connecting is my personal passion. I’m always at your service, Paul Nazareth   Sign up for a free weekly tip from the authors of my #1 book!

Winning Body Language for Sales Professionals

Burgundy red hardback book (XL)Ok, full disclosure: 1. I blogged about this book in 2011, have shared this book with hundreds and have been a BIG fan because this book helped me when I was giving over 100 presentations a year. 2. After pestering the author to ask about tips for MarkBowdenfundraisers, we kept in touch and I’m actually IN this book. Don’t worry, if it was terrible…..I would tell you. But, luckily it doesn’t suck. Mark has gone over and above his last book to put together a powerful set of tips for not just sales professionals but those in the business of building relationships to succeed ( fundraisers, I’m talking to you! ). And YES office dwellers this DOES mean you too! closetalkerEvery time I recommend this book I have to remind peers it’s not JUST about influence. It’s about not having the other person shut themselves to what you’re saying before you’ve opened your mouth. Or, as the pro’s call it, non-verbal communication. Mark is a private coach to Fortune 500 CEO’s, world leaders, celebrities and yes even the Prime Minister of Canada. But don’t hold that against him, he’s no Tony Robbins. Reading this book will help you to communicate better and be your most authentic self. Mark writes for his clients, the CEO, “way too busy for this” types. Which is good because you’re probably way to busy right? Wrong, this book is crazy-practical! Each chapter ends with :

  1. Theory to practise
  2. Just do this now
  3. A case study from someone who uses this skill dailypninbook

My part of the book is winning tips for fundraisers. Frankly, things Mark taught me to overcome in myself that resulted in proven social-profit success for me. I truly enjoyed the other tips from content experts and feel they add such a new valuable dimension to Mark’s content. There are so many myths busted and misconceptions set right. I love the chapter on how far to stand based on the topic of conversation and relationship between individuals. Inside these pages you’ll find more than just body language, how to speak, walk, shake hands, say hello and goodbye – it will sound artificial but I can’t stress how this will empower you to get to know yourself, and be your best. Three top chapters that end the book make it a must-read for 2013 success: Room set up and how to ensure the best conversations for building relationships and closing a deal. Coaching your team – one failing I find in so many business books is not telling the reader how to translate the knowledge! skypeAnd lastly, and I can’t stress this enough to authors on networking and business communication, If you’re writing books in 2012 and beyond – it’s a social business world now! Remember to add things like body language for video, Skype and other mobile-communications. And Mark did! So valuable. I have been recommending this book to hundreds of professionals of all ages and stages in their career. If CEO’s and heads of state call on Mark as someone who can help them be their best and most authentic self while still incorporating smart business communication methods – I hope you’ll find value here too. I leave you with some resources. An audio interview with Mark, a video tip from Mark, from my beloved Globe and Mail and below that a bit about the book. Thanks Mark for being so kind to a fan of your work. It is an honour to be a part of this amazing resource and your network, Paul

AFP Congress 18 Nov Sunday Dinner Networking

collaborate Note: This is an unofficial, non-AFP event privately hosted by me. I had a professional and LIFE changing experience at my first AFP Congress ( my story link here ) Mid-career I was kept away from AFP as a member and participant. Charity fundraising peers you know the excuses: “we don’t have budget”, “only senior staff get to go” “you just started here, be happy you have a job” – and garbage like that. So I’ve been hosting dinners in the evening around Congress for a few years now, for out of towners, delegates and the rest of us. And make no mistake, respect to AFP, they’ve been nothing but supportive, they want to help fundraisers! That’s why they exist. fraserCongress has changed dates and I wanted to do something this year on Sunday night, for folks in town over the weekend. I’m already hosting a networking event on the Monday night, I wanted to do something different. Across the province my close peers at Good Works were thinking the same thing. Fraser Green has been a great inspiration to me forleah years, and Leah Eustace and I have been having way too much fun thinking together about better social fundraising for the past couple years…the theme of the conference being collaboration I had an idea to make this event more value – and this senior group of experienced fundraisers have generously accepted to host a series of table clinics to help you actually talk about your challenges and go home with ideas and solutions!jccoach For the Fundraising Executives who like me treat Congress as a good time to reflect on career path and self-direction, we’ll be joined by a unique coach for fundraisers, Janice Cunning who will host a table as well! There will be seven tables:

  1. Giving your website a makeover
  2. Integrated fundraising, using more than one medium
  3. What does fundraising in 3D mean?
  4. Better Legacy fundraising. Practical planned giving
  5. My mail programs are killing me
  6. The Evolution of a Fundraising Executive ( with Janice )
  7. Networking for cause and career ( guess whose homarcheyoungesting this table)

Once again I’ll be hosting it at the super collaborative Marche in Brookfield Place – where there’s food for all tastes, special needs and budgets. Also paying is easy so folks can come and go as they please, no pressure. I’m super pumped about this – ALL are welcome. Fundraisers in Toronto, AFP Congress delegates and those curious about AFP membership, come and see why it is so powerful for a philanthropic-sector professional to join! AFPCongresswelcomeWe’ll meet between 5:30pm and 6pm. The tables will start discussions at 6pm and keep going officially until 7:30pm but again, I run my events with NO RSVP and no formal programs so you can come and go as needed… so no pressure. Come and leave when you can. If you use LinkedIn feel free to tell me which table you’d like to be at. A BIG thanks to the fine folks at Good Works for saying yes to this crazy idea, and like so many of the wonderful sponsors and speakers at Congress, stepping forward in support. Let’s really collaborate. It’s how good ideas happen! I leave you with a thought about where they come from….  Paul

AFP Congress 2012 – Mon 19 Nov Dinner

#AFPCongress is THE biggest/best fundraising conference in Canada. If it was a dude, he’d look like this: afpmuscle It has evolved into a powerful sharing of ideas, thus the aptly named 2012 theme, “collaboration”. But I have a beef with many conferences. You’re running from session to session trying to fit in food and bio-breaks, maybe a conversation here or there.  For many folks,it’s hard to network. So for the past few years I’ve been hosting a dinner the first night so delegates and AFP members in town alike can meet, share ideas and spend some time actually getting to know each other. ideas You can’t collaborate if you don’t know each other and have a basic relationship built, let’s build some! SO! We’re going to meet at 6pm at the registration table at Congress, the Metro Toronto Convention Center North batontoWe’ll be dining only steps from the Convention Centre at the only quiet restaurant nearby at 6:45p, Baton Rouge ( 277 Front St & John St., at the foot of the CN Tower )… we’ll be live tweeting if you want to catch up with us, just follow me at @UinvitedU or the hashtag #AFPCongress Out of towners and first timers, we’re especially looking to see you. Young professionals who have no budget to attend Congress, this is how to get a glimpse of the pageantry, the awesomeness and be inspired to fight to get there, like I once did. All are welcome, NO RSVP. Just be there. Also, the great folks at CharityVillage.com have let me cvbizcardknow they’ll be giving away a free membership to their new nonprofit professional network at the event! Thanks as always CV, I’m looking forward to hearing how the new platform is helping the sector and those who work in it! Also, if you’re feeling adventurous, my great peer @EmmaLewzey is running another dinner at an Indian restaurant uptown at Banjara ( details here ). So, here are some pre-conference networking tips to get you ready. And, heck, with plenary’s like Don’s Jazz (link) and Tony’s Theatre (below) there will be lots to talk about! See you there, Paul