I recently wrote about having one’s own “personal board of directors” which is where many of the past GC’s live as do this year’s set. Some are new inductees, some have come off the board since.
I really worked hard on this year’s list, it breaks a few of my own rules. It was tough to honestly admit there are no men this year and I thought long and hard about renaming one person….so without further adieu, my MVP’s of networking for 2012:
Clare McDowall? She looks just like the Clare from 2011, but don’t let that fool you. In 2012, Clare raised her own game and it was exciting to be there with her. We collaborated on a session at AFP Fundraising Day as well as other professional adventures. She helped me constantly get outside my comfort zone and delighted me by never giving me a free pass just because we know each other. Most of all, Clare joined my beloved CharityVillage.com at a critical time in their rebranding and has become a whole new professional, almost a whole new person this year. I’m grateful to be challenged and inspired by someone with such courage.
Christina Attard. We have known each other for several years, worked in the same sector and become friends too. But in 2012, Christina joined my personal board with a vengeance and we became professional running partners, half-way across the country. Whether through twitter, or on websites and skype calls Christina by running her race has pushed me to learn new skills, introduced me to new network connections and made opportunities possible. Most of all, we held each other accountable to goals and made them happen. As such, we are both working our dream jobs and have grown our networks globally in 2012. So much in my professional journey would not have happened if not for Christina.
Leah Eustace. One of the critical criteria’s for my personal award is someone who proactively collaborates with me on networking goals and events. The team at “Good Works”, Fraser Green in particular have been close to my professional network for years. But it was my obsession with ‘social business’ and the entrepreneurial lifestyle that led me to listen and study Leah as a professional. Not only did we get to collaborate several times this year, Leah and her team stepped forward to support networking initiatives of mine big time. Every board needs someone who has their act together, I learned a lot about being a professional and a better human being from Leah this year. She is a peer of incredible emotional intelligence and like last year’s GC John Lepp, she’s a social business leader too. We all need people calling us to our future, to be our best self. Leah was this person for me in 2012.
I know, only three people and no men. It’s kind of depressing and feels like a failure on my part because I wasn’t open to and didn’t seek out more collaboration but being honest with myself as my family grows ( my wife and I are having baby number two in a matter of days ) so much some of this stuff is about becoming more strategic with my time. Heck social media means I can be in 100 places at once! Many seeds have been sown in previous years, here are some honourable mentions and those wins:
1) Jon Cheevers and the UofT Alumni team have engaged me for the past couple years to speak to and host students to teach them about networking at and after University. In 2012 I had the most speaking engagements on campus and it was life-fulfilling to be of value to my beloved alma-mater that gave me life in friendship, a network to rely on and where I met the love of my life, my wife!
2) Emma Jenkin, is a little bit of an introvert. A nerd’s nerd, kind of like Einstein or DaVinci. I’ve never known someone who could be considered a renaissance-woman. But Emma is a bike-riding commie-pinko artist, with a business mind MA and MBA who is also killer with social-media and data who is studying computer-coding while knitting and hiking through the hills of Scotland and scuba diving in the Ocean. She inspired me to not be the suit I wear, hell I’m a published poet and classically-trained violinist who wanted to be a high-school english teacher. I forgot that in pursuit of better leadership and operational skill building I put so much of myself away. If there was a human being who inspired me the most in 2012, it’s Emma.
3) Being a fan of the Humber College Fundraising program led me to join the Advisory Board. But its the students who inspire and push me forward. The class of 2011 really rocked my year: Frankie Chow taught me the secrets of Pinterest, Margaux Smith conquered the commonwealth and watching the careers of so many flourish, Dave, Malinda, Fiona, Mimosa, Sam and so many more. Knowing they are coming up professionally, scares me to keep moving forward outside my comfort zone, and I mean that in the best way.
4) The Authors, this year I met and formed relationships with more business authors than ever. I met and had some powerful personal conversations with two of the WORLD’s best, Marcus Buckingham and Susan Cain. I got to engage leaders who inspire me like Paul Alofs and was mentioned in a social media guide and submitted content for a book! Never doubt the power of blogs, LinkedIn and Twitter.
5) The big mind-houses in my life. The Humbers, the Hilborns, AFP, Third Sector, Zipcar you invited me in to play and innovate with you. My most humble thanks. Reconnecting with my beloved CAGP has me achieving a life-career-goal in 2013. I could not be more excited.
Lastly, look I know it’s gauche to talk about who you work for, and I won’t mention a name. But I work for a leader, who has redefined my career. I work with a team where we get to do so much good, and the challenges are so intellectually awesome, sometimes I actually feel my brain tingle. I had to go to the doctor at the end of the year because I thought I was sick, but it turned out that the insanely-positive people and work environment has started to actually improve my health by osmosis. I’m not bragging, I want this for YOU dear network. Please remember to keep in touch, share your goals for 2013 with me so together we can get you what you most desire on this earth.
I am forever grateful to this years GC’s, and to you dear network. Remember, it’s not something I say, look at the testimonials on my LinkedIn profile….. I AM at your service, test this promise, let’s get to work for you in 2013.
I leave you with a video of how the above people make me feel.
Does your network make you feel like this, every day?
If not, why not? Let’s do something about it, you and me….