Years ago I heard Ken Waissman speak to a young group of theatre aspirants. He was the original producer of “Grease” on Broadway and hired leagues of young people over the years for NYC casts + touring companies.
I remembered his advice and use it in my speeches all the time. “You never know when you are going to meet the person who will change your life.”
He told the students to be groomed, buttoned up and prepared to present themselves all of the time, at any moment. You could be waiting in line for coffee and a bagel and a casting director could be right in front of you, etc.
It works. I got my first high tech client waiting in line at a restaurant. I was with my next door neighbor and he knew the person standing in front of us who had just moved to Dallas to be marketing VP for VMX, the company that invented Voice Mail.
My neighbor made the introduction, kicked off the conversation and the networking/connection went from there.
We know we have to cultivate and communicate with our key, long-lasting relationships. But it’s also important to be aware of and open to the serendipity of the possible.
It’s a matter of poise and preparation! Focus and follow-up!
In an economic downturn, people are sequestered in their home offices, posting resumes on job sites en masse. Then they leave the house and take a break from the rigor. Whew! Great to be off-duty. But in essence, it can be the best time to be watchful and on-duty, as opportunity never takes a holiday.
It just might have a different appearance and locale than you expect. And that’s the intrigue –and advantage — of the unexpected.
Thank you, Ken!
June 23, 2009