According to Richard Koch, the author of the business classic about the Pareto Law ("The 80/20 Principle”), our top six business relationships account for more than all of the rest of our contacts. No more than six people. He points out that 80 percent of the value of our relationships comes from 20 percent of our relationships. Are you one of those who, according to Koch, spend much less than 80 percent of your attention on the 20 percent of relationships that create 80 percent of that value?
executive_networking_adviceDonald O. Clifton and Paula Nelson tell you why: "Relationships help us define who we are and what we can become. Most of us can trace our successes to pivotal relationships."
Being selective is the only way to solve this trade-off between the quantity and quality of your relationships and stop under-cultivating what is most important.
"Extraordinary success is achieved by ordinary people," says Career Success author, Ernie Zelinski. Overcome your comfort zone. Challenge yourself. Try to reach out to people you consider impossible to reach.
Your executive job search and your world and life attitude take a quantum leap forward as you make those vital connections you believed were out of reach for you.
Let us look at different examples:
How I got in Contact with Barack Obama
People always ask me how I got in contact with Barack Obama. During the last Presidential election campaign, Obama disclosed his private email address on LinkedIn to quickly build a strong community. I obtained Obama's private email from LinkedIn and also succeeded in inviting him into my LinkedIn network. That was back in 2008.
Can you do the same nowadays? Can you connect with celebrities and VIP-level people of your choice? Yes, you can. LinkedIn Recruiter (fee-based) allows you to access virtually any LinkedIn member: 100 million+ professionals at 2 million+ companies.
How I Met the Ex-President of Toyota Motor Corporation
Hiroshi Okuda is a big name in Japan. He is the previous President of Toyota Motor Corporation and still acts as its advisor. He was also President of Keidanren, the most powerful Japan Business Federation.
Most normal people would consider it impossible to make contact with him.
How did I meet him?
I registered for an event organized by the American Chamber of Commerce in Japan where Okuda was invited as speaker. After his presentation, I sought him out and exchanged business cards with him.
In the same way, I met with the President of Mazda Corporation and the VP of R&D of Daimler AG, to name just a few.
The lesson for you is that you can meet anyone in the world at events, be it the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, the Davos World Economic Forum, the Economist Conferences or the Foreign Correspondents Club Events in Tokyo. Choose an event, go there, and meet the person of your choice.
The most important learning points:

  • Select your key relationships carefully and then build with commitment.
  • Find your top five or six business contacts and concentrate 80 percent of your attention on them.

Perhaps equally important, prepare to connect and communicate. Know what you are going to say to that person, what you are going to ask, and how you are going to engage interest and begin a relationship.
BlueSteps members, if you’d like some assistance with your networking plan and a process, contact BlueSteps Executive Career Services. Our coaches can guide you through a networking-based job search and help you be more effective at every stage of your transition. If you're not a member yet, join today to access a full suite of career document and coaching services.


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