I wrote an ad for a perfect job networking guru a few years ago.
“I need to hire someone who knows how companies work. He has to quickly figure out what really motivates people. He has to walk into a room of executives and figure out which ones are the real decision makers, not just the ones with titles. If he can’t figure out who the influencers and elephants are during a one hour group meeting, I don’t want him.”
That was one of the most difficult recruiting assignments I ever worked on. That describes the perfect executive and the perfect salesperson. The perfect team leader and assembly line worker can do the same thing. It really describes the master of the good old boy network.
The good old boy network is really a bunch of people, men and women, who have learned to trust each other. They know what motivates the other people in the network. They know the hidden agendas as well as the stated goals. Some people want to be executives with a home life. Others want to get away from their family as much as possible. One guy wants money and another wants fame, a third just wants more people reporting to him. Then there is the guy who wants most to be an influencer.
This ad hoc network offends many people. It exists in most companies, even small ones. It is a major part of every industry and government. It is the groupings of people who rely on each other to really get things done. The good old boy network is reality.
Tomorrow we’ll talk about some ways to exploit those good old boys.
Something to do today
The first step towards exploiting the good old boys is to recognize who they are. Get in the habit of asking people who put off a decision they should be able to make, “Who should we run this by before a final decision is made?”
Later: Exploit the good old boys
The money question
3 kinds of death