Tips from a highly connected connector
by Joe Szynkowski | Oct 10, 2016 | Workhappy Blog
Linda pictured above with Tammi Leader Fuller, Founder & Chief Empowerment Officer (CEO) of Campowerment at the September 2016 event at Indian Head Camp in the Pocono Mountains.
“I’ve got another connection for you, Joe!”
Over the past couple of years, I have been fortunate enough to receive that message from Linda McGuigan, the most highly connected person in my network.
Linda runs ltmconnect, LLC, and has built extensive sales organizations in some of the most highly visible corporations in the world. Her network is deep and diverse – and she doesn’t just facilitate introductions.
For me, she follows up to make sure the introduction was received on both ends and that I was able to make contact. She gives guidance on pricing, strategy and overall relationship management. She is an invaluable resource.
And I’m not unique.
Linda helped Sarah Brady – now the Chief Development Officer for the United States Golf Association – unlock major social media and branding opportunities for one of her past organizations (buildon.org).
“Linda has a way of realizing the value of potential partnerships before they happen and is able to leverage this potential for the greater good,” Brady said. “She can drive greater brand exposure for your company and is an invaluable connection for both individuals and organizations.”
Tammi Leader Fuller is the Founder & Chief Empowerment Officer (CEO) of Campowerment, a transformational weekend sleepaway camp for grown women hailed by Oprah, MORE Magazines and many other national media entities as the place to reboot your life in just 72 hours.
“Linda inspired me to think big and grow the Campowerment movement beyond B2C and into the enterprise,” Fuller said. “Through her connections with a large global lifestyle brand, we tested our model and are now launching a Campowerment experience targeted and customized for corporate clients.”
So there you have it. I hope you have a Linda McGuigan in your corner.
Here are some thoughts from Linda on a few questions I shot her way. Enjoy and go find your own Linda!
Question: Why do you connect people – what do you get out of it?
Linda: Since first learning of his concepts, I have been passionate about John Maxwell’s servant-oriented leadership approach. His message immediately resonated with me across both my business and personal lives. When your goal is to serve others your focus is turned outward and suddenly your efforts have a true meaning and purpose that is tied to something larger than just yourself.
I love people, and I love to see people achieve more than they think they can. That is why I love to build sales organizations. If you hire the right talent and invest in them by equipping them with the right tools the sky is the limit! My early success in managing sales teams made me realize my love for “connecting” people to the right job. And then it just naturally evolved into the people-to-people aspect of connecting.
Were there people early in your career who inspired you to connect others?
My inspiration comes from the desire to serve. So I would have to say that I have been most influenced by the leaders that I had the privilege to work for (short list) or observe from afar (somewhat longer list!). The first leader that I had an opportunity to work with and watch build a multibillion-dollar enterprise was David Dorman, now founding partner of Centerview Capital Technology Partners. His vision and execution skills made an indelible imprint in how I relate to customers, colleagues and leadership that helped shape how I connect with people and connect people to opportunities to this day.
With busy schedules, social media, emails and texts, some say it’s actually harder to have “real” conversations and deeply connect with people. Agree or disagree?
There is no question that the “always on” aspect of our society and the pervasiveness of social media has forever changed the way we communicate. There are some unfavorable aspects to this but in my opinion the positives outweigh the negatives. As long as we as a society hold dear the value and meaning of personal connection and communication, all the social media and tools will serve to enhance our ability to communicate. This is where integrity and character come in. The opportunity for deep connections belongs to those who invest in their relationships and stay true to their moral compass.
How can proactive networking help a job-seeker find meaningful opportunities?
The earlier you learn the power of mentorship the better. Be selective and mindful. Seek out people that are inspired to help you. Invest in those relationships. Also invest in continuous networking with those in your industry or areas that you are passionate about. You may be surprised how willing people are to help. Offer assistance and ask how you can help others, as well.
What’s your advice to those who want to become true connectors like yourself?
It takes time and it’s a journey. You really have to like to get to know people and get joy from seeing others succeed. And try not to burn any bridges — it’s a very small world!
Joe Szynkowski owns and operates The UpWrite Group, a firm focused on positioning executives for board opportunities and equipping C-suites with unified personal branding.
Check out www.TheUpWriteGroup.com for more information.