Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Fab Four Networking.

This post comes from a presentation I gave to the Non-Working Networkers Group at
Westminster Presbyterian Church in Rockford, IL in January, 2011. This post also serves as both a love note and a thank you note to the aforementioned Non-Working Networkers and the church Deacons. The multi-tiered support they provide to those of all (or no) faiths is truly God's work.

Why post this today? Margie Clayman wrote a great guest post Monday on Danny Brown's blog. In the comments, Margie threw down on me. It was a kind, respectful throwdown, but a throwdown none the less. Back at ya, Margie.

Wow, a preamble and an introduction. I'm awfully self-important today. Without further adieu, Ladies and Gentleman, networking by

What is the song about?
Listen to the words. It's two (unemployed) people networking.

Asked a girl what she wanted to be.
It's not hard to start. Introduce yourself and ask someone a question.

She said "Listen baby, can't you see? I'm gonna be famous, a star of the screen, but you can do something in between."
Early in the exchange offer help to the other if possible. Successful networking is based on what you give to the system, not on what you plan to get out of the system. The more value you can offer (the sooner the better) the more likely you are to receive value in return.

Baby you can drive my car. Yes, I'm gonna be a star. Baby you can drive my car, and maybe I love you.
When talking about what you do or what you're looking to do, specifics are vital. None of the nebulous "I want to put my people skills to use, I'm a great organizer, blah, blah, blah." People can't help when you want to do anything under the sun. The girl knows exactly what she wants. It's also obvious the girl knows how to network. She offers a very specific suggestion for her counterpart.

I told a girl that my prospects were good.
Obviously the speaker of the first part is a moron. A contact offers help on the 1st meeting and gets turned down out of hand.

She said "Listen baby it's understood. Workin' for peanuts is all very fine but I can show you a better time."
The girl asks the idiot, "Are you really going to turn down my offer, to my face, without at least taking some time to think it over? " Then, instead of turning negative with the moron meme, she remains positive. "Trust me, whatever you think you may have in front of you, I'm making a concrete offer."

I told that girl I could start right away.
The light goes on. Offer accepted.

She said "Listen baby I got something to say. I got no car and it's breaking my heart, but I found a driver and that's a start."
Opportunity rarely presents itself when we are looking for an opportunity. Opportunity arrives when least expected. Usually we are unprepared for opportunity. Unfortunately opportunity doesn't hang around until everything is in line to take advantage of the opportunity. The would be starlet required a driver. Her counterpart needed a position. A deal was struck, even lacking the requisite car.

"I'd like to say thank you on behalf of the group and ourselves, and I hope we passed the audition".

Aside from telling you what you already know about networking, what is the takeaway from today's post?
  • The takeaway isn't about my smartest kid in class breakdown of "Drive My Car", even though I had a great time with the presentation.
  • The takeaway isn't about the wonders of social media, even though I met Margie Clayman yesterday via a blogpost and here I am today posting in response to her.
  • The takeaway isn't about the great work being done by Westminster Presbyterian Church, because that is for another day.
As adults, we should have identified our strengths and weaknesses by now. We know things we do well and areas where we perpetually under achieve. There are no new messages left to hear, it's merely the manner in which the messages we already know are presented to us. The takeaway is there are new presentations of known messages all around us. Inspirational speakers aren't if they say the same thing the same way every time, yet the message at the end doesn't vary. By finding known messages repackaged, we recommit to the path of success with new energy. Hopefully, next time "Drive My Car" comes on the radio, you'll remember my thoughts on networking rules of engagement.

What do you think? Do you agree or disagree with my premise? Do you have an instance of finding an old message in a new place?


  1. Hah! This is an awesome post!!

    I have always wished the Beatles could have written a sequel to that song, where the "idiot" is driving a car for a no-name and is really ticked off about it. Maybe that's John Lennon's Working Class Hero :)

    This was a fabulous way to get networking to be more easy to understand. But c'mon, it wasn't a was an invite! :)

  2. Thanks for the kind words. Maybe the sequel could be the girl driving for the narrator? I believe Sir John (field promotion)would be wary of sequels as well. As for invite or throwdown, you're right it was an invite but would anyone have bought the show "An Invite from Bobby Flay"?
    Glad you stopped by.