The Importance of “Being There”
April 25, 2009
Returning from RSA, I realized just how much I gain from “being there”. What does that mean – many people come to the conference, see the sessions, walk the floor, attend the parties – but are they really “there”. I think about all of the meaningful conversations that I have had over the past week that happened by chance – being in the right place at the right time. Speaking with people, in a relaxed environment, without pretense. Listening to stories, sharing past experiences, connecting on a different level then I get to on a daily basis – in my office, on e-mail, or social networking.
From my perspective, this is networking at its finest. I was able to both give and receive information in a matter that was much more effective than any way else. The topics of these conversations were wide ranging – a discussion with successful entrepreneurs about the struggles of making payroll and keeping the lights on during difficult times, learning a great deal about what makes a good blog from a handful of security bloggers and podcasters who have been quite successful, and hearing some of the behind the scenes “corporate gossip” as to what is happening at companies that we have represented and currently represent.
Probably the most important thing that happened was that I found out that one of my good friends had a pressing need for a specific talent – and I made him aware that one of my other friends (who had that talent) was looking for that type of engagements. The two of them knew of each other, but did not know the synergy existed. The wheels were in motion. I am of firm belief that it will work out and both of them are going to be quite happy.
There are many more examples, but the common thread is that if I was not there, actually present, and in the right places for these discussions to take place, my experience this week would have not been nearly as fulfilling and successful.
So what does this mean to your career? It means you have to be “there”, wherever “there” happens to be. It means that you as a professional you have to put yourself in places that matter, connect with people when you are there, and not be afraid to let your guard down and put yourself out there. Many great things come from when you least expect them.
Posted by lee | Filed Under Networking