Clarity for Aspirational Women in Business & Life Transitions.

First step in creating a powerful network: Create a lunch list

05.28.09

Career

networking lunch

Do you ever feel lost when thinking of how to expand your network?  Have you gone to networking events but felt they were “fake” and full of people who were only interested in selling themselves?  Well today is the day for you to build your own powerful network.

I’m a huge “Dancing with the Stars” fan (please don’t judge), and there was a couple who had a disappointing performance the previous week, but came back and received great scores.  They were asked what made the difference.  The difference, they said, is they decided to focus on the character of the dance, the real soul, and then learned the techniques and steps later.  The same goes with your network, take notice of those around you who emulate the morals and standards you value before focusing on their business or position.  For example, you know people who are always kind to everyone regardless of title, and never compromise themselves for greed or pride.  Get to know them.  In my own journey, I decided to reach out to colleagues and company officers who really impressed me by their actions and unwavering character.

So let’s stop and think for a moment about who stands out in your mind as having fascinating interpersonal skills and a career history that mirrors or complements your interests and passions.

Then, come up with a lunch list.  Jot down a few names of those you would like to have lunch with.  For some readers, this will immediately take you out of your comfort zone but the reason they are on your lunch list to begin with is because they touched your spirit in a positive way.  So this should not be a painful activity but rather an uplifting one.  Include people that are easy to invite but also include 1 or 2 who would normally reside on your wish list.  Think big!

At these lunches, begin with explaining to that person why you wanted to have lunch.  Explain that you would like to learn what they do to keep their head above the nonsense and remain true to themselves.  The purpose is for you to express your respect and admiration for their character and genuine spirit and the kicker is, you don’t want anything from them.  You don’t want a raise, a job, a client relationship, a free product, or a favor.  Nada, nothing, zip.  You only want to spend some time and listen to them.  The person you choose will be flattered by your authenticity and openness.

You must place yourself on a higher plane than those who are only flattering and helpful because they want something.  So enjoy your lunch and broaden your network with like-minded people.

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2 responses to “First step in creating a powerful network: Create a lunch list”

  1. Sid Pagonis says:

    Great post! Keep up the good work

  2. k coffee says:

    Your website is just what I needed. You have no clue how long I have been thinking about the same exact thing! I am so ecstatic that I am not by myself.

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