The book review for this week is Captivate by Vanessa Van Edwards.
Van Edwards takes the reader through a detailed study of the art and the science of networking. She explains the power and benefits of building your network and covers many of the aspects of starting and building genuine relationships.
My takeaway from this book is the fact that anyone can be a great networker. You do not have to be an extrovert. In fact, Van Edwards herself is an introvert and provides quite a few humorous examples to prove this!
Follow her 14 networking hacks (below) and your skills will improve dramatically!
Recently, I was a guest on “Ideas and Stuff”, a Calgary based podcast (episode 50). One of the questions they provided in advance for me to think about and prepare for was; “If you could go back to the day you started your business/career, what would you tell yourself?”
As it turns out, we had a great conversation during the podcast and never quite got to this question! However, the question did really get me thinking.
If I could back up my career, what do I wish I knew that would make a big difference?
As many of you know, I am an electrical engineer by education and practiced in this field for quite a few years.
As engineers, we are forced to focus on numbers, formulas, Lagrangian multipliers, and other theorems that would give most people nightmares! However, as the Dilbert stereotype so aptly illustrates, we are generally not taught the basic things about effective communication, teamwork, or leadership!
So, what would I tell myself if I could go back to the day I started my career?
“…your personal growth is proportional to the number of risks you take plus the number of relationships you build.” Jesse Tevelow
It is probably safe to say that most people want to improve their “lot in life” in some way. Whether it is a new house, new car, new clothes, more money, different city, different country, different career, different business or a million other motivators, most people have some sort of drive for personal growth and improvement.
What many people don’t realize is that the likelihood for success of this drive for personal growth is directly proportional to risks you take and the relationships you make. If you want to grow, you must always be pushing boundaries – taking a risk or building relationships or both.
“Be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry” James the Great
I cannot even count the number of times that I have broken this rule! Listening seems so easy . . . just sit there with your mouth closed and ears open without jumping in with an opinion or advice. Turns out it’s not that easy for people like me!
Listening is definitely something that takes patience, practice and discipline to do properly. However, it is incredibly important for every leader to master the art of listening. The benefits of listening to those around you can be huge while the downside of not listening can devastate your relationships, career and business!
When you are quick to speak and you listen very little, you will steamroll over the great thoughts, ideas, solutions and feelings of all those around you. If no one gets a chance to fully explain their thoughts before you interrupt them with your advice and opinions, you will begin to isolate yourself from the full potential of these people. You are slowly choking off their willingness to engage you in conversation and this means that you are choking their potential, your potential and the organization’s potential.
When you fail to listen to someone, you;