Note: You'll understand this post better if you read last year's post when I gave out this award for the first time.
If you read my post last year you'll know that I chose the crab because it's a food you can only eat with focus, with people close to you because it's messy and it's rare.
These four people have proved themselves my MVP's of 2011.
Last year was about focus and refinement. They helped me change my world, and it did change with a massive job move that was beyond my wildest dreams - it would NOT have happened with out the GC's of 2010.
The GC's of 2011 were chosen again using my handy excel networking tracking sheet (exported from LinkedIn ofcourse) that helps me remember:
- Who collaborated with me to connect the most
- Who is a great tag-team networker in virtual and reality reality?
- Who do I admire for something they created of value to my network
- Who pushed me to do something amazing? And who pushes others too?
- Who acted with vicious integrity, unwavering kindness and consistency?
- Who created a strong brand of their own, taught me how to use it to help others?
These ( in no order ) are my Golden Crabs for 2011.
* There is no physical reward for this award only my undying gratitude, respect, admiration and servitude
John Lepp - It was John who showed me the power of social media in late 2009. His are the words I have used to bring social media into the lives of hundreds this past year... " you don't have to talk, you can just listen first". His is a voice more personal and challenging than I'm comfortable with (like another social media expert un-guru Claire Kerr ) but I know that he, like previous GC Promod is not just a Seth Godin tribe member he LIVES the challenge. He is a business owner, charity supporter, father, foodie - the man is everything I want to be. His authenticity is often mistaken for arrogance, don't be fooled. He challenges us to embrace our excellence, not apologize for it. Although he doesn't often leave the shire, he is ever-present in my life and the lives of his tribe. In 2011 I became an Agent of Good and haven't looked back. Thank you John.
Another team member in my social media journey is Clare McDowall. I feel like I'm confessing to professional online dating but yes, we met because of twitter. To be more accurate we met because of the amazonian superhero Kimberley MacKenzie who held a tweetup to welcome Clare when she landed in Toronto from Glasgow Scotland. Very quickly Clare became one of my social media teachers as she created a consulting firm but was snatched up by a smart charity. Clare was present, active and always up to collaborate but was out front too. She was the prime motivator behind "Be Good Be Social Toronto" which realized a professional dream for me, the first conference session on my business passion - LinkedIn. Like the other GC's she is one of the hungriest, collaborative people I know.
I would remiss if I didn't note that John and Clare also showed me the power of a device I hated simply because it came from the wrong side of the digital tracks. The iPad. Seeing Clare in action and John's advice help me overcome my PC upbringing and dive in to a new world.
The youngest GC is Brock Warner. Another rider in my social media posse his greatest value came from being the ultimate tag-team networker when working a room or conference. He was a big part the creation of one of the most powerful parts of Toronto's fundraising community in 2011 - YNPCanada. The team at Stephen Thomas leads in a lot of ways, but it was their all out support of young talent through "Young Non-Profit Professionals Canada" that made the earth move. Outside of his work Brock participates, collaborates and supports others in much the same philosophy I do. A champion alumni of the Humber College Fundraising Program, he stepped up his game in 2011 with a Tedx talk. To be part of his network is an exciting privilege, I love that I'm always a little afraid that he's going to beat me at being me. I love that he's no swagger, but all game.
Last but certainly not least the lone un-fundraiser, Lisa Taylor. If I was a robot, I would have been manufactured at Lisa's business. The Challenge Factory , if it got any cooler it would be illegal. Test driving careers? Lisa and I teamed up for a session this past April to help for-profit folks transition into non-profit fundraising. She has remained a serious networking partner and in the last quarter of the year invited me to her local BNI ( Business Networking International ) chapter sparking a minefield of business explosions that rocked December and continue to pay dividends in 2012. When people ask me, "Paul who in your network is a MUST know" in 2012, I will answer. Lisa Taylor.
Shout outs to a few institutions that rose above this year:
- the Hilborn team for having a 2.0 dialogue with your loyal supporters
- PG Growth and GPIC for championing my beloved Gift Planning
- Georgian College for giving me a shot to make a difference
- Humber College for not resting on laurels and inviting me to party
- Hutchison Smith for their new endeavour "Charity Executive"
- Crawford Connect, research in fundraising employment excellence
- Again, Stephen Thomas for creating
- Zipcar for continuing to be my customer service gold standard
- Starbucks Canada for showing the corporate sector how to tweet 2.0
If you are reading this, I hope this post makes you ask who was of most value in your professional life this past year? If you want an intro to these folks, let me know.
I'm grateful for the chance to recognize them publicly and to YOU dear reader for finding some value in this post.
A big thanks to the hundreds in my network who help and fight for me. Know that I'm in your corner, ready to spring into service - just ask, invite, call, tweet, post...
I exist for and because of my network.
Let's get out there and kick 2012's ass.
Crabs, a standing O for you...and a tribute from the fab four...