Becoming The Master “Mover And Shaker” You Want To Be

I can humbly say I have a gift… and that is networking with people and building businesses and relationships second to none.

I don’t know how I learned this but it is instinctive and comes naturally.

For me it is all about moving “people” and “money”. You do this well and you are unstoppable.

Having said that, here are some real productive tips that should help you get ahead in life real fast….Use this as your “bible” in terms of “master networking” . You will thank me for it for a very long time.

Network with a cause. Frankly, it all depends on what you want. If your aspirations lie with the “crème de la crème” or one of the top x people in the world in whatever you do; if you’re so bold as to want to be President of the United States or a respected CEO in the Fortune 500, I would argue that you won’t get there by knowing a lot of middle-level people. You need to know the right people, for the right reason. The more focused your goal is, the more outrageous your networking fortunes become.

Be diligent and know all what you can about the true “movers and shakers” out there. I’m constantly ripping out lists in magazines. I had been ripping out 40-under-40 lists for years and continue to do so. Those are individuals who somebody has spent enough time to identify as an up-and-comer, a mover, an intellectual, and these are the kinds of people I want to surround myself with. I rip out lists of top CEOs, most admired CEOs, regional lists. My assistant enters the gathered names into a database. I have call sheets by region, listing the people I know and those I would like to know, and when I am in town I phone all of them. The numbers are also put into my two cell phones. One that has names strictly relating to the particular business I am involved in at the moment and another that contains my own personal contacts. There are more than 5,000 contacts in all, some of them I don’t know yet. Those are what I call “aspirational contacts”. Names such as Richard Branson, chairman of the Virgin empire. I don’t know him. But I want to. Then there are people like Carlos Slim Helu whom I know.

Build your network before you need it. I crack up at the people who come to me for advice on how to build a “master network” because they need a job now, I tell them it’s useless. People can tell the difference between desperation and an earnest attempt to create a relationship. Bottom Line: Anticipate the worst, keep building the right relationship from the start and then strike when needed. Any other exercise is just an exercise in futility.

Never eat alone. The dynamics of status in a business network are similar to those in Hollywood: Invisibility is a fate worse than failure. Above all, never, ever disappear. Keep your social and conference and event calendar full. I give myself one night a week for myself, and the rest is an event or dinner. Is this a life? Of course it is… this is what life for me is all about. Every free moment is a chance to E-mail or call someone. But I don’t consider that work. That’s my true joy. I have balance, but it’s my own version. My career has always taken a front seat to my personal life. But, in a sense, that is my personal life. There’s no distinction for me. Yes, I practice this even on my vacations in the South of France or in the Carribean. How can one retire from something he loves? Never…

Be a real interesting “Renaissance “ man . I am fully aware of the fact that perception drives reality and that we are all, in some sense, “brands”. But the cornerstone of my philosophy is really content. Being known is one thing, but being known for content is something else entirely — and much better. You have to have something to say to be interesting to people. If not, there is nothing that really differentiates you from the crowd. Once your pitch is perfected, getting attention is never a problem. Journalists are powerful (the right exposure can make a company), needy (they’re always looking for a story), and relatively unknown (few have achieved enough celebrity to make them inaccessible)…Fame sells.

Don’t keep score. Successful networking is never about simply getting what you want. It’s about getting what you want and making sure that people who are important to you get what they want, too. Often, that means fixing up people with one another. It’s about a personal connection that makes you feel a sense of reciprocity. Superficiality is not networking. There are people who have lots of superficial connections, and people call that networking. But that’s not successful. The outcome of good networking is the capacity to have a conversation with anyone you want to have a conversation with and then to leave that conversation with a lasting connection of some sort. Most of us know the people within our own profession and social group, and little more. I make a point of knowing as many people from as many different worlds as possible. Bottom Line: I view the system as social arbitrage, a constant and open exchange of favors and intelligence. It’s a sort of career karma, too; how much you give to the network determines how much you’ll receive.

Ping constantly. 80% of success, Woody Allen once said, is just showing up. 80% of networking in my opinion is just staying in touch. I call it “pinging.” It’s a quick, casual greeting. I make hundreds of phone calls a day. Most of them are simply quick hellos that I leave on friends’ voice mail. I send E-mail constantly. I remember birthdays and make a special point of reaching people when they have one. When it comes to relationship maintenance, I am, in the words of more than one friend, “the most relentless, energetic person I know.”

Get to the anchor tenants. I organize one event every month of a year and I invite members of my inner circle to attend. This is easy. We can always have dinner parties with our peer set; but if you keep having dinner parties with your peer set, why would somebody two levels above your peer set ever come to your dinner parties? The point is, you don’t randomly invite somebody two levels above your peer set to your dinner and expect them to come, because they won’t. They want to hang around people of their peer set or higher. This is a crass way of talking about it, but this is the formula. So I developed his theory of the “anchor tenant”. What you do is find somebody in your peer set who has a friend who is two levels above — the big swinging dick of the group, the anchor tenant. You get them to come and, in all invitations subsequent to that, you use the anchor to pull in people who otherwise wouldn’t attend. The doing of deals becomes inevitable and here you go.

Bottom Line: For me, networking is about making a difference, exploring, learning, connecting. It is the conscious construction of his life’s path. The network functions precisely because those with money and power know the rules. There’s recognition of mutual need. There’s certainty that investing time and energy in building personal relationships with the right people will pay dividends. And here is the point: the majority of “one percenters,” or the ultrarich and powerful who inhabit the territory are one percenters because they understand this dynamic — because, in fact, they themselves used the network to arrive at their present station. They are forthright in their pursuits, almost unconsciously conspiratorial in their collective and mutual understanding that real networking — life-permeating networking — is a requisite part of the game. It’s not crass. For those who wield this kind of power, it’s mandatory.

Now that you know the basics….go use these networking tools to make a killing and never turn back.

Written by

Ziad K Abdelnour is a Wall Street Financier, Author, Philanthropist, Activist, Lobbyist, Oil & Gas Trader & President & CEO of Blackhawk Partners, Inc.,