Kent M. Blumberg Interview – Leadership, Strategy and Performance Expert
Kent M. Blumberg is an Executive General Manager with extensive international and domestic background in multi-site operations mangement, in manufacturing and process industries. He is also the author of the site “Leadership, Strategy and Performance“.
Josh: Kent, how do you define Business Networking and why do you feel it is important?
Kent M. Blumberg: As Benjamin Yoskovitz said, it isn’t Business Networking and other networking for me. It’s just “networking.”
Networking is about building a community or a team – a team that is unique to me. Sure, folks in my network are in others’ networks. But only I have the particular mix of people that are in my network.
Networking is not just about collecting a bunch of business cards, though. It’s about building connections between previously isolated people. It’s about introducing A to B for their mutual benefit. The more connections I can facilitate between members of my network, the stronger it is.
And networking is about focusing on the long-term; building relationships based on mutual trust and support.
Networking is not about numbers for me. Some folks brag about how many people are in their LinkedIn network, for example. That matters not a jot to me. What counts is the quality of those relationships. It’s not like collecting dead bugs and displaying them on pins in boxes. It’s about helping a smaller number of folks grow exponentially because they are part of your network.
Why is networking so important to me? Because I simply don’t know how to get anything meaningful done without other people’s help. And there isn’t anything meaningful to be done if it doesn’t benefit other people. My network is where I find people I can help, and people who can help me help others.
Josh: Can you share one or two ideas that someone could put into practice that would help them to improve their business networking skills?
Kent M. Blumberg: As many of your interviewees have noted, the world of Blogs is a great place to build your network. Writing a blog will certainly bring new folks into your world.
But you don’t have to write a blog to use the world of blogs in networking. Start by reading blogs, and then by commenting on blogs you enjoy. The best bloggers reach out to those who comment and seek to begin some kind of relationship with the commenter.
For example, I send an email to everyone who takes the time to comment on my blog and thank them for their comment. Often, their reply opens up a brand new friendship, and each of us has expanded our network by one.
Set reminders in your daily planner (or in Outlook, or however you manage your tasks) to call one person a day and catch up. Or email at least one person each day. You can grow your network daily by asking, during that conversation, for referrals to one or two other people who might like to get to know you.
Whenever you come across something that interests you, try to find one person in your network who would also be interested in the subject. If it’s an article, send it to your friend. Or give them a call.
Josh: For some people knowing where to go to network in the first place is a challenge. Can you share some resources, events, or places that you have found helpful for meeting new people and growing your business network?
Kent M. Blumberg: Just about everywhere I go is an opportunity to meet new people and potentially grow my network. You just have to have the mindset that you want to get to know someone new each and every day; that you want to find one new person you can help.
Specific places I have met people who have since become valuable nodes in my network include church, the Chamber of Commerce, volunteer activities and walking around my neighborhood on a Saturday. And I meet at least one new friend a week through my blog.
There isn’t really any special place to grow your network, though. But there is a special point of view required.
-You can visit Kent M. Blumberg at KentBlumberg.com.
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