Wednesday, June 30, 2010
When I seek people out, make time for them and especially when I run events
people often say to me "thanks for including me" or "thanks for inviting me".
I respond every time. "You're welcome - but I didn't invite you".
"YOU invited YOU".
Here's how I vet invitations to my events.
I have an excel spreadsheet of all my LinkedIn and offline contacts. About 1000 people.
They're already sorted by level of connection and affiliations. But all start on the same footing.
Then. I let them fight it out.
Who have I witnessed being inhuman to another this past year?
Who fights for results?
Who fights for themself and invests in themselves with out ego?
Who am I a little afraid of because they're more passionate than me?
Who teaches others daily?
Who learns from others daily no matter what their social standing?
Who sees beyond title? Empowers beyond title?
Who invests in my industry?
Who builds professionals with courage and patience?
Who has invested in me in the past quarter?
Who is going to rock the boat, our boat....my boat and rock it for the right reasons?
I know. I'm a bigot.
But it's my party and I'll demand excellence if I want to.
So when I contact you. When I connect you. When I invite you.
It means that you were on the list of 1000 and you made it through the gauntlet.
You're part of this month's surviving 50.
It means you are ruthlessly awesome.
Don't be too smug though, the list changes every month. People don't make it through because they get soft, others because it's not their time to be sharp. Heck, pretty often my own name (yes it's on the list) is eliminated.
I am growing what I call "the army of the passionate" so that together we can change the sector for the better. Not just to raise more dollars, or help more people but so there's actual justice INSIDE the halls of the charity too. Let's not pretend we're anywhere near that now.
We're all biased. This is my personal bias.
U invited U - Make sense now?
Monday, June 28, 2010
Part of it is because I'm into cooking, entertaining and weddings.
Which doesn't make good fodder for man conversation.
But mostly it's because I detest pretty much all organized sport.
I'm not into:
- Hours away from home
- Drinking beer and doing dumb stuff in public
- Memorizing stats and important sports moments
- Talking controversial plays the next day
- Glorifying testosterony fighting and garbage attitudes
(I know this is the worst of sports and there's wonderful lessons to be learned.
I'm also highly supportive of playing actual sports )
I was mentioning this to my wife who was explaining a work world cup pool she was in and she replied "yeah but you are into a sport"....
As always, she's right.
I have always said that networking is a contact sport
and I'm an addict - hook, line and sinker.
People often marvel at my time spent networking.
- Hours away from home
- Drinking too much coffee and consuming boxes of mints
- Memorizing career wins and skills of people in my network
- Learning about the secrets of every good career search expert
- I literally cheer when good things happening to good people
- Glorifying leaders of integrity who makes moves to change the world
I don't idealize Kobe Bryant, Sidney Crosby or Chris Bosh
My superstars are Seth Godin, Robin Sharma, Marcus Buckingham and the Shepa team
( I should make trading cards!! )
I track careers.
I watch good managers turn into game-changing directors.
I study leaders without title who inspire by crushing challenges with sweat and work.
I mentor young people who reject entitlement and prove they're here to contribute.
I invest in entrepreneurs who work smart and not just hard.
So yes I have a beer belly. It's just not from a couch.
Thanks to an inspirational leader Steve Foran who through his video blog and great book have reminded me that it's through my daily steps to improve the lives of those who accepted the challenge of being part of my network, what I call my "army of the passionate" that I can change the world.
Or at the very least feel a little better about the beer gut.
Confession 1: Many people who know me know that I frequent Blue Jays games. Confession, I know nothing about baseball. I just like being trapped with someone I respect or care about for four hours with a chance to talk because you could fall asleep and read a whole book at a baseball game. It's a networking goldmine!
Confession 2: I'm an overweight bookworm who knows that sports and a healthy lifestyle are actually good for you period. I know that some of this is a way to explain away my inactivity. I know that many of the best in my profession are big on sports, specifically some running fetish.
Two of the best networkers I know are die hard sports participants and they meet more business and personal contacts in a year of intramural sports than I meet in two years of networking.
Thanks to all who came out to the official "Linchpin Philanthropic Meetup'.
Here's what I ended up sending. The e-mag team asked for 250 words or less!
The business of philanthropy?
The 25 or so folks who attended were from a diverse background of age, race, experience and profession. Fundraisers, marketers, admin staff, financial advisors, board members and consultants from marketing, management and search. I asked the group to “ship” two answers before they left.
1) What is the name of the elephant in our room? The resounding answer was “you saw my inner Linchpin, hired me and then slapped on the handcuffs and stand in my way”. Charities and non-profits were born out of the fires of passion. We are the “roots” in grass roots. But the businessification of philanthropy is quickly wreaking havoc on how charities are managed and what is shipped. We are stuck trying to solve problems based our ideology, not the real needs of who we serve. Only the hungry have any creative courage, only the slick can capture mass dollars, courageous missionaries of awesomeness are losing to formula-fiends and bottom line bean counters. The truly creative seem to become consultants, leave the sector or ship the same 1980’s begging by mail and phone garbage only to pray for the sweet embrace of death because retirement will soon join the rotary phone and phone book in the ‘what was that?’ category. On a lighter note my second question was
2) What would you like to share with other linchpins? Best answers: Be useful or funny. Working smarter doesn’t have to smother passionate creativity. I will out-last you, out-live you, out-think you, out-work you, out-care you and WE will have the change we seek.
Fantastic stuff. Great connections were made among people who are committed to solving problems.
Time well spent!
July 2010 Update!
The magazine has been published and we made it in!
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
I've been meaning to start a blog for months.
Not because I want you to know what I'm thinking. Because I talk enough as it is and luckily thanks to great peers, good friends and a loving spouse I know that I'm not as smart, interesting or witty as I think I am.
I think life is truly beautiful and the lessons I learn each day resonate with others and in turn help them teach me more.
Today was another day of learning.
It's the start of the G20 in Toronto which is starting to look like a middle ages castle complete with drawbridge and hot lead ready to pour.
I committed my evening to raise money for a charity at the Blue Jays game with 30 other volunteers. Most were giggling or gawky teenagers who didn't really care about being there. My team member and I did pretty well and noted the one old guy who loudly declared he would go it alone.
After our volunteer time we were given free tickets to watch the rest of the game. A few of the teenagers just up and quit in the middle of our duties, a disgrace in my book. None stayed for the game.
Who sits down next to me but the 'old guy'. We spent some time together and he shared tips on his sales techniques, many other volunteer positions and his joy in helping many charities. Turns out he's down on his luck right now and staying at a shelter. One could debate how wise he could possibly be with a current situation like this...
But he out-raised every human being in that room by 3 to 1.
Lesson Learned: Most people, (especially me) aren't as smart as they think they are.
Thanks to the folks at Heart and Stroke Foundation for the chance to make a difference and enjoy a great evening at the ball park.