025 Gordon Curtis: Well Connected

by Tom McDonough Deborah Burkholder on November 9, 2012


Gordon Curtis on Career Tips & TrendsInternet radio for savvy professionals –
doing work you love, work that matters

In today’s uncertain business environment, now more than ever, the best way to succeed is through partnerships—with colleagues, with vendors, with competitors, with anyone who might share a common goal and can help build mutual success.

Such partnerships require strong, meaningful relationships. In other words, these relationships require that you become well connected.

We asked Gordon Curtis, author of Well Connected to join us today to discuss his Right Person/Right Approach to social networking.

We’d love to hear from you in terms of your actionable takeaways from this episode.

Leave a comment or send us an email.

Listen to the full interview by clicking player above.

Here are some exurps from today’s interview…

From the show

As an executive transition coach for maybe more years than I care to share; over 18; I’ve helped hundreds, upwards to a thousand, clients advance their careers and businesses through the traditional teaching workings of inner work of assessment and integration of skills and interest values and experience but my focus has always been to then shift to the outer market facing actualization and work of identifying and approaching decision makers and what I refer to as critical enablers who are instrumental in accelerating client career business objectives to reality.

I’ve facilitated and witnessed thousands of key introductions and always been fascinated with the networking patters of success and true mutual value creation and I’ve also been amazed at the amount of on and offline social networking time and energy people expend with little or nothing to show for it.  I always felt the vast majority of people walked away from networking exchanges on or off line leaving so much value off the table. 

Over time in this analysis, a very distinct pattern clearly emerged of the seven elements or variables that I felt could easily be replicated for predictable exponential mutual benefit and exchange.  I found the most successful networking exchanges all contained these elements and the less productive ones one or all of the elements of the seven were missing.

…a lot of reasons why this book is referred to; Well Connected and the sub title is A Genuinely Unconventional Approach to Building Genuine and Effective Business Relationships; the unconventional part about it is that I found that whoever dies with the most connections doesn’t necessarily win.

What I found is so much of the value that I received in my business came from a very select group of people.

To elaborate a little bit on that value, that sense that so much was left on the table came from countless comments from clients.  How’d it go?  They’d say well, we hit it off and promised to stay in touch but there was nothing to show for it.  So I’m really interested in having measurable results that are true advances in my client’s objectives.

One of the biggest disconnects is someone might be lined up in all of these seven elements but if we’re not articulating exactly what it is that we’re looking for in language that they truly get, we’re often going to walk away with both parties frustrated because there’s not enough value to exchange so that gets right in to chapter one which is Articulating One’s Objectives.

If someone says I’m looking for a job, if you have any ideas let me know.  Obviously I don’t know. I can’t help you.  If you know of any funders, let me know.  That could be a zillion different funders.  Or I’m looking for a really good java programmer.  That still narrows the field down to a million and on and on for every business objective.

Exactly. And that’s one of the key things that I try to accomplish in Well Connected; take the abstract and turn it in to the truly practical and relevant to each individual in to an application that one could confidently say I can do this.

If you do what I call a diagnosis of their needs and analyzing all of the different drivers to their situation, their business success, where do they get their clients, how is their performance measured, what do they like and generally if you look at it through that lens, you will find something.  It may not be business related.  If you then inventory your own reciprocity constantly we are all sitting on a treasure trove of knowledge, contacts, resources that we don’t really think to exercise or share unless we start to sync it up to another person’s needs.  The approach would be to say “I know you can help me but humor me and help me figure out how I can help you first so I will feel better about asking for help.  Based on my understanding of what you do I see that you are involved with this non-profit and I know someone who is in a similar non-profit and they just recently received some funding.  Would that be something that you would be interested in helping?”

Yes, and that is a real confidence builder when we bypass our needs and we are taking risks and adopting the mind set of “I can actually add as much value as I am going to consume or at least I am going to try  and I am going to feel a lot better about approaching someone even if it is just a gesture but if it changes the whole dynamic and the mental block and the resistance that most people experience when most people are asking for help because most people have a problem, myself included, in asking for help.

…in terms of resources, we could spend the rest of our lives going down these tentacles  and I think it is more important to think about how we weave it all together and so not to point everything back to Well Connected but the last chapter I am pulling it all together on how to gain confidence, quality and control  is to apply each and every one of these seven elements to our own cases so that we go from the abstract of looking at so many resources but the personal disconnect of the application. Anyone can research any one of the networking reciprocity.  I get into how to ask for referrals. There is a hole body of  information out there and I must say there is no one resource.

Listen to the full interview by clicking player above.

We’d love to hear from you in terms of your actionable takeaways from this episode.

Leave a comment or send us an email.

Contact Gordon Curtis

Website: WellConnected.me

Website: CurtisConsulting.net





What do you want?

80% of finding work you love, work that fits you is knowing what you want. If you don’t know or aren’t quite sure –  just start with what you think you might want. Take small smart steps and follow your gut. Talk to people who are already doing the work you’re interested in. Connect with them on LinkedIn.

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Listen to the full interview by clicking player above.



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