Monday, August 08, 2005

"The Virtual Handshake" by David Teten and Scott Allen - Chapter 21

This is developing into a week of Blogging about authors with whom I have had some connection. Over the weekend, I posted the classic John Updike essay on Ted Williams. Within the next few days, I will review John Irving's new novel, Until I Find You. Today, I want to share with you an excerpt from The Virtual Handshake by David Teten and Scott Allen.

David Teten is the Founder of Nitron Advisors and Teten Recruiting in NYC. He writes widely - in print and in cyberspace - about networking and tools that enable social networking. I frequently quote from his Blog, Brain Food -

Several months ago, David and I entered into a continuing conversation that was part e-mail and part phone calls about the use of LinkedIn and other social software tools. In the course of our multi-part conversation, I told David a story about a search that I was retained to perform that came about in part because of LinkedIn. David told me that he and Scott Allen were writing a book, and that my story would make a nice case study to buttress some of the points they would be making. He asked my permisison to include the story in the book.

David was kind enought to mail me a pre-publicatoin copy of The Virtual Handshake - scheduled for official publication on August 30. I am pleased to share with you the opening paragraphs of Chapter 21 - pages 178-179:

Chapter 21

Increase the Quality and Quantity of Information

Now that we have all this useful information, it would be nice to do something with it. (Actually, it can be emotionally fulfilling just to get the information. This is usually only true, however, if you have the social life of a kumquat.)

Executive recruiter Al Chase tells how he leveraged software and personal Information from the client’s virtual presence to land a major contract:

“I have been using LinkedIn as a virtual personal Web page for the past six months, as well as for business development for my executive search practice. I currently have 313 connections and 20 endorsements from clients and candidates.

“Early in June [2004], a prospective client contacted me who had found my profile on LinkedIn. The client was motivated to call me because of:

*The number and quality of my connections;

*The number and consistency of my endorsers and their comments about my unusual approach to recruiting;

*The fact that the client and I were two degrees away from one another within LinkedIn, separated by an attorney in Boston with whom we have both worked.

“After calling our common connection to learn more about me, the client contacted me to explore the possibility of engaging me to do a search for the General Manager of an entertainment complex to be built in the Northeast.

“We quickly determined that I had no prior experience in executing a high level search within this particular industry, and that I was competing with some of the large retained executive search firms in Boston for the right to conduct this search.

“My reading of the client’s LinkedIn Profile led me to his Web page, where I learned that he had a background in choreography and dance. I used my knowledge of the world of dance to offer an analogy that prompted the client to consider engaging me for this search, despite my lack of prior industry experience. The client asked me to sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement and asked to meet me face-to-face.

“During the face-to-face meeting, I was able to present my approach to placing senior executives who are “Renaissance Souls” in companies where such a broad and classical approach to leadership is valued. At the end of the meeting, the client informed me that they would like to retain me for this search.

“Using a combination of LinkedIn and other personal networks, I was able to quickly engage with top leaders in the theme park industry, and learned that most of the Best Practices leaders in the industry would be speaking at a trade association convention in Singapore in mid-July. I proposed to the client that I attend to accelerate the search. I returned from Singapore with dozens of contacts within the industry, and several well-qualified candidates.

“One of those candidates whom I met in Singapore was engaged by my client to fill an operational role on the project, and another industry leader has been hired as general manager for the project.”

* * * *

I am grateful to David for sharing this story in his book. I am in the midst of reading the book, and am finding it to be practical, relevant and very helpful in thinking about specific tactics and strategies for building and maintaining an effective professional network. I will offer a full review of the book in this space by the end of the week.

The book is available for order now on The Virtual Handshake Website:

1 comment:

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take position and sell any securities mentioned at any time. Any statements that express or
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