Developing a Career Strategy for the Executive Outlier

Today the average person changes jobs every 4 years.  No employers guarantee lifetime employment any longer for any employee.  Even CEO’s for top companies have statistically average life of less than 3 years. 

The number one strategy most employees use is the “Hope” plan.  In other words, hoping you end up someplace good.  The obvious problem with this strategy is that long term success is doesn’t happen organically.  The Executive Outlier will have a career strategy that starts with a vision.  In that vision the Executive Outlier considers several factors including: Timing, preparation and execution.  Lets review some of the basics of career strategy planning and the types of learning and skills required to keep ahead of your game.

Topics: Business Networking Executive Outlier Building a Professional Network Career Personal Development

Building a Collaboration Circle

What your network should look like in a few years…

As you are business networking and meet many people, there are very rare individuals you will want to keep an eye out for.  If you can learn to spot them, you will definitely want them in your weak link circle.  If you see them in the future as a strong connection, you may want to invest time to make them part of your inner strong link circle. 

They will be master and expert networkers, rare personalities. As you meet them, you will find yourself naturally drawn to them want to cultivate a friendship. 

Topics: Business Development Business Networking Executive Outlier Building a Professional Network Referrals

7 Masteries of the Executive Outlier

What is an Executive Outlier

If you only compare yourself against what’s average, this may not be for you.  This is for the executive leader whose goals are industry leading and personally satisfying.  We all start as babies  and even with every advantage, nobody is born an Outlier.  Becoming an Outlier takes learning, mentoring, practice, experience and then re-inventing yourself over and over again.  Today I want to celebrate this learning and the re-invention required to be an exceptional business leader and executive.

Topics: Business Development Strategy Executive Outlier Business Management Personal Development

Strategic Business Networking - Leveraging Rainmakers

Within every strategic business plan, optimizing the three business networking personality types is a top priority. Firt first are Rainmakers. They are mysterious people who seem to make things happen... like  magic.  You will find Rainmakers in any industry but the term is particularly used in sales. 

Sales is traditionally seen as a “numbers game”.  The Rainmaker doesn’t play this game.  Instead, a Rainmaker brings in deals almost magically.  Of the three types, the Rainmaker is the rarest.  

The secret of Rainmakers is their large Strong Link network which comes from their ability to easily build rapport. In this strategy we are building rapport quickly in order to build a strong collaborative network.  With that network, the Rainmaker is able to put together deals and opportunities very quickly. 

Topics: Business Development Business Networking Executive Outlier Building a Professional Network Referrals

Strategic Business Networking - Leveraging Mavens

The most active and win-win providers of the three personality types of networkers  for Connectors and Rainmakers are Mavens. While there are extroverted Mavens, there are probably more introverted than extroverted mavens. This is valuable because they are very good at understanding complex and counter-intuitive problems. 

During events Mavens will be friendly, but most likely to the point.  They won’t be enjoying the social aspects of the event as much as the introvert.  This often means they are very focused on the reason for attending the event. They are likely to "get in and out" to maintain emotional energy.

Because they are counter intuitive, their audience will take a while to catch on.  Unlike the Rainmaker or the Connector, the Maven needs the most time to develop a great rapport and reputation. 

Topics: Business Development 80/20 Strategies Business Networking Strategy Executive Outlier Building a Professional Network

Strategic Business Networking - Leveraging Connectors

What's a connector?

Imagine sitting down with someone who wants to hear everything about you.  Most of us enjoy sharing our lives, insights and thoughts with other people.  We all love a good listener.  The connector is probably the best listener there is.  Because a true connector is truly interested in you as a person.  Understanding people’s stories is one of the passions that truly energizes the Connector.  The Connector Strategy is dependent on,

  1. Developing a large network of casual friends
  2. Maintaining Regular contact
  3. Recording casual friends in order to track contacts made and referrals received
Topics: Business Development Business Networking Strategy Executive Outlier Building a Professional Network Referrals

Business Networking Personalities: Connector, Maven & Rainmaker

As you think about your networking personality, are you a Connector, Maven or Rainmaker? How you build a professional network and creating a business development plan will depend on your personal style.

Each of these personalities has a different focus, different strengths and purposes. For instance:

  • 'Strong, Weak Link' or 'Connector Style' strategies focus on maintaining large networks of casual friends who like to network. 

  • 'Maven Style' strategies focus on unique informational contributions to a network collaboration.

  • Leadership, quick rapport building and driving projects is the focus of the 'Rainmaker' Style.
Topics: Business Development Business Networking Strategy Executive Outlier Building a Professional Network

Developing Your Referral Network - The Weak Link Strategy

Let's talk about how to develop and harvest business referrals from your network.  This is a well-kept secret top sales people already know.  There are some basic, common sense assumptions we make about networking.  We hear about people who create success by just using their good common sense in life.  Many suggest that if we just use good common sense, we’ll all be O.K.  The problem with common sense is that it might be common, but it’s not good. 

Topics: Business Development Weak Link Strategy Business Networking Executive Outlier Building a Professional Network