The Power of WHO

Chester Elton

Today in the U.S. alone, more than 10 million people are desperately looking for work - 2 million more than last year. For those os uf who have jobs, our daily struggle in this economy is to stay relevant and needed.

Bob Beaudine has answers.

Sports Illustrated has called our friend Beaudine the "top front office match-maker in sports" and "the most influential man you have never heard of." He is one of the world's leading executive recruiters in sports, entertainment and business - placing everyone from the commissioner of the NFL to the coaches of many Division I football teams.

In a great new book, The Power of WHO, he offers more than two decades of practical advice to those who need to find a ner career, want a better job, yearn to smash a series record or want a richer life. He shows readers how to creatively use their network. But he warns, it's not networking as you know it. Says he, "You need to throw out everything you have ever heard about networking to find a job. It's crap! It doesn't work!"

Bob told us, "As an executive recruiter, I get thousands of resumes every week and it's disheartening to see a resume come in from people who feel they're going to get their next opportunity when they write, 'Dear Sir,' 'To Whom It May Concern' or 'Dear Recruiter' (which is an oxymoron, he notes). It always confused me that people use a non-relational approach to get something so important they're going to work eight to ten to twelve hours a day for."

Nameless strangers won't help, but our WHO will. They are friends and allies willing to help when we reach out.

Says Beaudine, "Your WHO is your community of friends that's been built up over many years with love and unconditional giving. These friends care about you, they want to help you, they share your core values. They'll come to your aid if you'd ask them. We've been taught inccorectly that friends and business are taboo. So whoa re we supposed to work with? People we don't know and don't trust?"

There's a good chance you know someone right now who has lost their job or is in a vulnerable position at work. "They feel like they've been in a car wreck," relates Beaudine. "There's pain, fear, panic. But who do you call if you've been in a wreck? You don't pull out a business card from you last conference. You call a family member or a friend."

He adds that people who've lost jobs or those in trouble financially tend to go to Monster. com, send out mass e-mails or start cold-calling businesses. Instead, Bob recommends three Rs:

Remember. You're not alone in your situation. Get back to your WHO - those people you knew in your first jobs, in college, at church, in your kids' sports teams. We've got to talk to the people who matter most because friends help us, not acquaintances.

Reach out. You've got to call them and say, "Where have you been? I've missed you?" These people would drop everything to help. But we think because we haven't talked to them in a while that they're going to think we're a user. That's just not true! Ask for their help. Don't be vague about what you're doing; tell them what you need and that you'll help them whenever you can.

Reconnect with Key People. How many people do you really need this year to get that one big deal? Probably just one. But we don't usually have a list in front of us of the people that matter. We live the rest of our lives with lists. When it comes down to talking about people that matter to you, put them on a list.

Then, when you're finally sitting across from someone who wants to hire you, promote you or give you new business, Beaudine says you should remember the four questions they're thinking about as they interview you:

1. Do I know you? They're wondering if they've heard about you or if someone has spoken to them on your behalf. Recommendations are the biggest reason someone gets a job or makes a sale. In fact, 87 percent of jobs are placed from one friendly reference!
2. Do I like you? How long is it before you form an opinion of someone? It's in the first few minutes. Can you create a positive personal relationship if you've never met a person and no one has given you a reference? Not in two minutes.
3. Do you understand my needs? Are you speaking just about yourself, or hav eyou reserached my company, my current situation and have unique solutions just for me?
4. Are you the best for my situation? Do you have the skills-set I need right now?

As Beaudine reminds us, friendships are as vital to our dreams and goals as food and water are to our bodies. True friendships are based on loyalty and mutual regard. There are no strings attached. You help your WHO friends simply because you can.

Chestor Elton, co-author of The Carrot Principle.
Adrian Gostick, co-author of The Carrot Pricinciple.
Copyright 2009. All Rights Reserved.

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