EditorialsBy Matt Bud, Chairman, The FENG

As everyone I hope knows, a white elephant is something that appears to be useful, but actually has no real value. It takes up a lot of space and basically eats you out of house and home.

Anyone with a garage or attic knows the kinds of things folks tend to hang onto, because all human beings hang onto this stuff. Your old Apple IIe (which still works), your IBM XT (which also still works – it replaced the Apple IIe), your turntable (even though the needle is shot and you threw away all of your records), etc., etc., etc. Oh, I forgot the workshop with its coffee cans full of left over parts and “spares.” Why is it we hang onto this stuff?

As long as you have the room, I suppose it really isn’t a big problem until you have to move or the ceiling starts to sag. Surely a rainy day when the attic or the garage isn’t too cold will come along soon enough.

There is one place where this kind of behavior really hurts and that is when it comes to job leads. Yes, I’m afraid the truth is that most of the job leads folks hang onto are actually white elephants. Or what is worse, they hang onto them until they are. They could be useful to others, but only if we take the time to pass them along quickly.

In our Internet based world, the shelf life of a job lead is measure in hours, not days or weeks. If you hear about a job lead, think of it as a game of “hot potato.” What is the value of this job lead you have been blessed to know about? Friends, its value is as trade goods to win new friends.

There are always at least 20 candidates. If you think you can limit the supply, guess again.

Now think about sending your friends bananas or fish. How long would you wait? My guess is not very long. Well, that is how I would like you to think about job leads. A gift of week old fish isn’t going to make you many friends. In fact, most likely it will cause the reverse.

The game in The FENG is to pass it along – and fast.

Do you know someone who should be included in this search? How many friends do you think you can you make in 24 hours by searching the directory? Let’s see, the recruiter wanted someone who worked at XYZ Corporation. Do we have anyone in our total membership directory I could call? (The answer to this is almost certainly yes. Probably there are several deserving members.) He said to keep it secret, but could I share a fellow member’s name with him? (The answer is yes.)

Of course, I am going to pitch him on letting me put it in the newsletter. The reason is I WANT all of the members of The FENG to have a shot. Let’s see, if it is under my name, should I suggest others call me to network. (Wow, another great idea. You sure are smart!)

The only question I have is: Do white elephants eat hot potatoes?

Regards, Matt

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