March 2015 - Well Connected

You may be more, or less, well connected than you, and other people think you are......

Someone told me last week that he had been approached, out of the blue, to help sell a security conference for business leaders in the area on the grounds of his high profile locally. It was all to do with the current level of terrorist threat. The promoter stressed that this is a "one off opportunity" and added that in the absence of local interest, this event would be offered to other areas in the UK instead.

Yet another business leader was invited to a meeting where she was assured that she "must know" the trustees on a regional charitable trust. The idea was that the subject of this approach would use her supposed connections to help secure funding for a community project in another county (sic). After all, trustees tend to "favour people they know rather than the project itself....."

I've even been approached myself. It is assumed by some that I have 'influence'. But the truth is that I have no idea what the religious, political, military, charitable or sexual preferences are of any of my contacts. I only know people through business training and consultancy, so it would not even occur to me to use my database to clutter up their inbox with spurious requests from all and sundry, however well-meaning the cause.

So what is the learning here? Well, in a 'quick fix' world, the best relationships build over time, usually on the basis of openness, honesty and transparency. Accordingly, a Diversity expert "specialising in Sex, Gender and Equality" is planning a forthcoming event for local business leaders but I regret that the details are not on their way to you from me......