Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Did you fall off the wagon?

Are you still sending two cards a week?

Nothing is the world can take the place of persistence.

Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent.

Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb.

Education alone will note; the world is full of educated derelicts.

Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.

- Calvin Coolidge

Friday, October 20, 2006

2 problems - 2 solutions

No one returning your calls? No one leaving comments on your blog site? Feeling isolated and unappreciated?

Two suggestions:

1. People will often remember you based on your outside interests (e.g. what you do for fun on weekends). They may either have the same interest or just find you darned fascinating. And if you aren't interetesting or fascinating - get up off the couch and do something!

2. People will contribute to your life and your blog if you provide them a forum for discussion and interface.

Check out http://howlettsheavybreathers.blogspot.com/ and read the comments.

Friday, October 13, 2006

How a photograph can get you remembered (and appreciated)

Heading to a conference? Trying to find a way to "keep in touch" and "add value" when you follow-up so a luminary speaker remembers you? Rita Bauer is manager of media services at the University of Toronto and is also an international speaker on digital photography. Five years ago, we were presenting at a seminar together and Rita passed along a great idea that I had forgotten until this week. She suggested most speakers at conferences never have photographs of themselves and are appreciative when someone takes to time to follow-up with a frame or two.

I was presenting a Knocking down Silos evening in Waterloo on Oct 3 and received this very nice email from one of the students afterwards. Attached were two digital photos he had taken for my records. I immediately called him and thanked him for his thoughtfulness.

Want to stand out from the crowd? Think about carrying a camera with you to that next seminar.


Dear Mr. Howlett:
First of all I wanted to say a personal thank you for coming to University of Waterloo again after the Science and Business the Driving Force Conference and speak at Knocking Down Silos last week. We as the Science and Business Students' Association had been planning, coordinating and marketing about this event since summer, but it would not have been such a great success without your truly insightful and awakening lessons.
Although the time was brief, it was a sheer pleasure having to chat you one on one and walk with you to your car. You spoke about your upcoming KDS event in November at University of Toronto with the Institute of Medical Science Students Association and I have been promoting this event to my University of Toronto friends ever since. As well, emails were sent to the many accounting professionals I've met and kept in contact with from all the accounting firm information sessions during my first university year. One thing I kept on forgetting mentioning to you actually, was that your friend Mr. Ronnie Tam from PriceWaterhouseCoopers LLP recommended Knocking Down Silos and your to me at beginning of year 2006; it had been one of the main incentives for I to become involved with SBSA and the Conference ever since, having able to get "front row seat" for your speeches.
Is there anything else I can do for you for the time being? I will be updating the SBSA website <
www.sbsa.uwaterloo.ca> very soon with the pictures taken at KDS. You are more than welcome to hyperlink our site and use the pictures for your own purposes. For now, there are two representative pictures attached, one is you and the group. Enjoy!

Sincerely yours,
Han Shu
2A Biotech/Chartered Accountancy CIO -SBSA

"To get you have to give" - or do people consider you a threat?

In today's Globe and Mail:

"There is a widespread belief that ruthless and self-centred people are the most successful when it comes to their careers. But being prepared to do anything to get ahead does not mean you will succeed in your ambitions," contends Stefan Einhorn, author of the recently published The Art of Being Kind. The author is chairman of the ethics council at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden. He believes that generosity toward others can lead us to succeeding in life because a generous person is not regarded as a threat.

1. "When people do not perceive any competition, they themselves stop competing and instead start to co-operate, which everyone benefits from," he says.

2. Another reason, he suggests, is that if we are generous toward those around us, they will be generous in return.

3. And a third reason to be generous is that we get pleasure from it.

Source: The London Observer

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

A great phrase for a bad habit

I just got off the phone with Patricia Diver, Career Coach from McMaster Univeristy. Patricia attended one of my Knocking down Silos events 2 weeks ago at McMaster, and was good enough to follow up.

Patricia commented that most people make the mistake of employing "transactional networking." They assume great word of mouth is generated purely as a result of one or more successful transactions. A great phrase for a bad habit!

In reality, great word of mouth is generated from a) being different b) exceeding client expectations and c) keeping in touch and d) being an "A" friend.

Thanks Patricia!

Thursday, October 05, 2006

"Knocking down Silos" as a business development tool

Many of the industry associates I know use "Knocking down Silos" as a business development tool. Can I show you how to do this as well? It may help you get more sales or receive that great job offer.

If you have been to a "Knocking down Silos" event, you know it is an interactive evening that reviews the basics of proper networking behaviour. Hundreds of people show up to learn how to increase their effectiveness in the business (and personal) world. I use examples from many industries and cultures. Every 20 minutes, people have to turn to the person next to them and ask key questions (e.g. "what's your biggest challenge and how can I help you?). Here is a video preview.

Who would you like sitting next to you when they ask you that question? Then invite them!

1. Download the PDF of the November 2 KDS event. This event is filling fast, please ensure you have registered).

2. Send the PDF to people you either know or wish to get to know better. These could be clients, prospects, key industry people, potential bosses.

You can simply forward the email with your endorsement. Here's an paraphrased email I saw come across my desk 2 weeks ago from Peter West:

“Normally I don’t send out these types of flyers to marketing events, but I will make an exception for Howlett’s talk on networking skills called “Knocking down Silos” He donates the gate to charity and it's well worth the evening.

Here's another on a bulletin board by Jim Love - another "good guy!"

"If you haven't seen Howlett on Networking, you have missed something.He's doing a benefit engagement in Toronto on November 2nd. You maystill be able to get seats. Mention my name. It might help."


You can ask a few clients to come as your personal guests. Of course, you will need to pick up the entry fee. (a small donation to the James Fund).

3. Sit next to your key people and watch what happens.

The best part of this strategy is that even if your people can't make it to KDS, getting an invitation from you lets them know you were thinking about them. (it keeps you top of mind). And that's one of the best ways to get great word of mouth...offering value when you touch someone... being an "A" friend! Below are a few emails that you may get from your clients afterwards.

I really enjoyed Dave's talk and I learned some very useful ways of thinking about how I interact with people. Thanks for sending me the invitation.

I am writing this email to thank you for inviting me to Dave's Talk. It was a wonderful, professional, and enthusiastic presentation in McMaster University last night.

Networking has always been a little scary for me. I always have a hard time knowing where to start and what approach to take. I am definitely going to be giving out more compliments now! Thanks for bugging me to go.

That was an amazing speech Tuesday night. Man, it was as long as a feature Hollywood film! It's amazing that he can find enough content to keep people engaged like that.