During the boom boom times of the late 1990's and early 2000 it was very important to have an ever growing network of people you knew in the business community. There were hundreds of networking events that people could attend every month, that it seemed like there was never enough time to do any work. Everybody that you met had a business idea that was headed for a hot IPO, and people could not get enough of each other. Many work days executives could find them selves at what I called a "Three Nametag Day": where you attended a breakfast meeting, a luncheon and a happy hour. Business cards were flying around like bees in a meadow.
Then came the downturn, layoffs, corporate scandals and the new economy seemed to be ending. Many people seemed to go into hibernation. Those who had never liked to network were happy to see the "high tech happy hours" and other events evaporate. While networking might have fallen from fashion, it never stopped being important.
Now in 2005, the importance of having contacts to grow your business and career seems to be making a comeback. The success of Keith Ferrazzi's book, "Never Eat Alone" , has lead magazine's and newspapers to begin to write about networking as if it was a the newest idea in corporate America. My own book on the same topic stresses the fact that networking is always important, and those who can successfully manage relationships will always find paths to greater successes.
In yesterday's Houston Chronicle there was a great article about networking that hits on the most important issue.... You must be sincere. If you do not honestly care about the other people in your network, it wont work. If the whole reason you interact with others is because of what they can do for you, your efforts in building a network will collapse like a card house.
While networking is popping up again as a hot topic.... do not think that it is a fad. A network of professional contacts that can refer you business is always an important tool for every businessperson.
You can read the Houston Chronicle article at:
More information on my book, which will be released in July 2005, is available at www.thomsinger.com.
Keith Ferrazzi's book can be found at:
Have a great day.