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10 Tips For Building Stronger Networks in Work and in Life, by Ross Walker of Stanford GSB

Stashed in: Networking, Awesome, Stanford, life, Books

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While at Stanford, Walker had a reputation for being a big-tent person. He planned events and themed parties that not only were entertaining but also brought people together. These events naturally led to networks that would last beyond his time at Stanford, but Walker’s ability to make connections did not stop there, says Pfeffer, who was so impressed that he wrote a case study charting Walker’s networking efforts.

They teamed up to write People Are the Name of the Game: How to Be More Successful in Your Career — and Life. Here are some tips from the book.

This one is my favorite: Be Specific

CEOs are busy people and therefore are unlikely to respond to vague requests or take on the burden of finding ways to help you. Help them to help you by making a specific request. For instance, when Walker met Conley, he submitted a brief one-page proposal to Conley in which he asked for an internship and offered to work for the summer without compensation. The reason: “Walker believed that you could not let high-profile executives think for you. … [It is] better to give them something tangible to consider, because once you’ve left their presence, they are not going to spend more time thinking about you.”

My second favorite:

Create a Robust Network

Walker was initially interested in working in the hospitality business, and through his research learned that alumnus Chip Conley had founded the boutique hotel chain Joie de Vivre Hospitality while he was still in his mid-20s. When Walker finally reached out to Conley, the 1984 Stanford GSB graduate had already heard of him. “I got hit by three different people simultaneously saying ‘you have to meet Ross Walker,’” Conley recalled, according to the case study. “All of a sudden, you have him on your radar in a big way.”

So... Get multiple people to write to someone on your behalf.

Be the kind of person that people take pleasure in supporting.

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