You may think that networking is about the old boys network only, meet to gain from others. You may think that gathering as much followers, friends, connections and likes on social media networks really make up your network. How strong are your networks? Can you call on your key contacts to help, guide, advise, and introduce? Dubbed as super-networker or the woman with the titanium Rolodex – though she’s well-aware of modern variants such as Outlook, ConstantContact, LinkedIN and Twitter – has learned a lot in her 30+ years as venture capitalist, consultant and entrepreneur. She’s learnt much too from Adam Grant‘s latest book Give & Take on the importance of giving.
Robinett divides her network in 5 critical connections (spouse and family), 50 vital connections with whom she’s contact every month, and 100 important other contacts to be in contact with every quarter to a year. A total of around 150 relationships you’re “only” able maintain over time, as Robin Dunbar proved in 1993. Out of the many “contacts” you have, you’ll need to filter the relations you will nurture and pursue. Diversity in your network is important, so reach beyond colleagues, like minded and just family and friends. Add value to each contact. Share knowledge, connect people, show genuine engagement and attention, first give. Your authority as a resource, a connector of people will grow in time and pay off in the end. Robinett has lots of powerful stories of business won, relationships established and wonderful connections made, thanks to a severe system to manage her contacts.
The book contains practical insights on the usage of social media platforms, how to approach people in conferences or networking events, follow-up within 24 hours of each contact / request. Thanking people, offering help en seeding conversations with information about the other’s interests and needs. Also important are the eagerness to learn from the other and simply asking who you should talk to. Great, practical for everyday use!
About the author
Judy Robinett is a business thought leader who is known as “the woman with the titanium digital Rolodex.” She has been profiled in Forbes, Venture Beat, Huffington Post, and Bloomberg Businessweek as a sterling example of the new breed of “super connectors” who use their experience and networks to accelerate growth and enhance profitability.
In her more than 30 years of experience as an entrepreneur and corporate leader, Robinett has served as the CEO of both public and private companies and in management positions at Fortune 500 companies. She has been on the advisory boards of Illuminate Ventures, an early-stage venture capital firm based in Menlo Park, California; Pereg Ventures, a venture capital firm based in New York; Springboard Enterprises based in Washington, DC; and Women Innovate Mobile (WIM) accelerators based in New York.
She was the managing director of Golden Seeds Angel Network (the third most active angel investment group and one of the largest in the U.S.); the CEO of publicly traded Medical Discoveries; and she served on the faculty of Goldman Sachs’s 10,000 Small Businesses program.
She was a member of the Department of Commerce team that defined performance criteria for the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award for Performance Excellence in Healthcare, for which she received an award from President Bill Clinton. Robinett has given over 300 speeches worldwide for audiences at MIT, BIO-Europe, CalPoly, AT&T, Westinghouse, and the Department of Energy. She is the coauthor of a chapter in Crowdfunding for Dummies by Sherwood Neiss, Jason W. Best, and Zak Cassady-Dorion (Wiley, 2013). Robinett lives in Salt Lake City, Utah.