This post originally appeared in the New Hampshire Union Leader blog, “Closing the Deal.”
Last week I had the opportunity to be in the studio audience for an event at WGBH in Boston. The event was sponsored by Skillsoft and featured Dorie Clark.
Her presentation was broadcast live to thousands of people in some of the world’s largest and most successful companies.
If you’re not familiar with Clark, she is a respected and accomplished author, speaker and marketing strategist. She works with some of the best-known global companies, including Google, Microsoft and Morgan Stanley.
Topics from her most recent book, “Stand Out: How to Find Your Breakthrough Idea and Build a Following Around It” was the theme of the presentation.
During her presentation, which lasted about an hour, Dorie focused on a lot of fundamental aspects of success in both your personal and professional life. She shared numerous examples and stories of ordinary people as well as well-known names whom she interviewed and researched when she wrote her most recent book.
To say I was inspired would be an understatement. Throughout her presentation, I found myself doing a lot of reflecting. Her perspectives, suggestions and way of positioning ideas made me realize I have a lot to work on.
I have always been intrigued with how someone’s unique way of looking at a situation can make you see that situation in a totally different light and help you recognize things about yourself.
While I’m sure everyone who attended the event had their own take-aways and “ah-ha moments,” I thought it would be helpful to share the things Dorie spoke about that had a profound impact on me.
Dorie spent a lot of time talking about building and maintaining your connections. I used to consider myself very good at networking, but after hearing Dorie, I realized I have been seriously lacking in this area.
After her presentation, I discussed with others how someone I once had a very strong relationship with reached out to me the other day and that I realized I hadn’t spoken to him in years.
Shame on me.
I realized I need to do a better job maintaining the strong relationships I have built over the course of my career. It just takes a little time and effort.
Being a “hub”
Dorie spoke about being a “hub” in your network. It’s a great metaphor that describes how certain people tend to be the ones who introduce people to each other, do a good job staying connected and bring a lot of value to those they interact with and know. Something as simple as hosting a get-together with people who may not know each other well is an easy thing you can do to be a connector and bring like-minded people together.
I thought about my network, the people I know and all of the introductions I haven’t made but should.
American business culture
This was very interesting to me. Dorie spoke about other business cultures around the world and how a lot of them are based heavily on the relationship and knowing each other. But in America, we tend to be very focused on “getting to the point” and circumventing the process associated with really getting to know the people you do business with. This was another big take-away for me, as I have always placed a lot of emphasis on this, but recognized I certainly have a lot of room for improvement.
Having the opportunity to hear people share their perspectives and views on fundamental topics is something I need to do more of. Regardless of how much you think you know and how good you think you are, it is always valuable to hear the opinions and thoughts of others. The event with Dorie Clark opened my eyes to a lot of different areas in business where I have become idle and needed a jump-start. And I certainly got that.
Christopher Thompson is a regional account executive at Skillsoft.