Several years ago I read a book sent to me by one of our Associate members, Rich Guha. The title of the book was How to Get What You Most Want in Life. At 103 pages, even the busiest of our members honestly has the time to read this rare volume. I can assure you it is worth the time. If you want a copy the link is: http://www.amazon.com/How-What-Most-Want-Life/dp/0595662595.
Although I found the book overall to be of great interest, tonight I would like to focus on Chapter 5: Making Friends & Networking. What caught my attention and interest was the following:
“In the 18th century, many educated people spent hours a day writing letters to friends and talking to them. With little or no distractions from media and travel, time and effort was focused on interaction between people, and friendships were very deep. There is considerable support for the argument that we now have more, but transient and superficial friendships and even relationships within our families.”
I won’t argue with the “facts” as presented. But while this may be what “is” at this point in time, I hope that none of you will accept this as what our world in The FENG or even in our personal lives needs to be.
I knew at the very beginning of our existence as an organization that men (and 90% of our members are men) generally have very few friends. My goal was to create opportunities for each of you to easily acquire new friends based on common interests and/or experiences.
There are so many opportunities in The FENG for you to make friends. We have chapter meetings and even some of our Special Interest Groups have meetings now. We also have a Member Directory Search feature available to you to search for old friends with whom you have lost touch.
I hope that each of you will make as one of your goals the acquisition of more friends as a part of your long term relationship with this august body of individuals. More important is my new goal of asking you to deepen your relationships with your fellow members.
We have two significant power tools not available to our 18th century model. We have the Internet and the telephone. Now that you are aware of the “problem” I hope you will make great use of these two weapons against our being just another “casual” networking group.
In order to deepen your friendships within The FENG I am going to make a few suggestions tonight and ask you in the days to come to add your own. Send any ideas you have to Leads@TheFENG.org and use the subject “Deepening our Friendships.” Leslie will publish them as they come in under our Notes from Members section.
My first suggestion is to “adopt” a few members who are “just like you” in some respect. As you go through the newsletter, make it a practice to forward those opportunities you think are the best fit to these new friends. (Did you see this one? Just wanted to be sure.) This sharing of job leads is at the core of what we do in any case. I can tell you that Ken Hall, one of our founding members, used to do this for me. At that time they weren’t from the newsletter, but rather from his own job hunting, but the point is the same. He sort of “adopted” me and I really appreciated it.
My second suggestion is to pick a member and spend the day going through their resume with them. Ask to hear their ENTIRE story, not just their 90-second announcement, and then go through their resume, cover letter and 90-second announcement until it really presents who they are and could be for a potential employer.
Well, the ball is in your court. As I have said before, every day and in every way, it all begins with YOU. (I do so enjoy proving that conventional wisdom is wrong when it comes to The FENG – the one thing that is too good to be true, but actually is!)