Seven Degrees From Lady GaGa

Some years ago I was ‘between jobs’. These things happen, and they happen faster if you tell the people you work for what you really think of them.

So for the first time in my case, I decided to read up on what was happening in the world and see if I could network my way into the right job. This was before today’s social networking trend.

Anyhow, I noticed a major corporate most of you would have heard of, had just changed its Chairman. There had been a succession of problems and troubles, and clearly the new Chairman would be reshaping a lot of the company. I thought, well there issues will be around repositioning for growth, and around reorganisation, two things I have long known about. So I rang around lots of people I knew and some headhunters till I found one who knew this Chairman.

I got him to make the following pitch for me: ‘John is experienced in the things you will need to do, is unbiased as not already part of the organisation, and proposes himself as an Executive Assistant to you for a year to increase your bandwidth’.

Now the guy was interested, and kept my CV on his desk for 3 months, I know, and sent me a message, I was still on his mind, but these things are delicate, and it never turned into an interview or job.

Would have been great experience for me at the time. Big company, public eye. Anyhow, in that old world someone many years ago set out to demonstrate we were all only seven degrees from Madonna: if you asked around, you would know someone, who knew someone, who knew….etc. and it is remarkable. I think I’m only three away from Eminem. Not that I expect he’ll be contacting me soon.

So in this modern world how much quicker is it to find your way to Lady Gaga using the speed of social networking/collaboration tools and the reach of the internet. Now I mean ‘meaningful contact’ – I don’t mean signing up to some marketing machine. Reckon one of us could manage it.

So to my German colleagues, for example: how hard would it be for one of you to network your way to Sebastian Schweinsteiger of the German football team? He’d be very welcome to put a comment on here!

Not all such personal contacts are welcome to us from people ‘out there’, but used with skill and subtlety getting to what you want in life will be a lot easier and faster than when I tried to get that job once. Like I say, we’d all better get good at it.

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John Conoley joined Psion in 2008 and has 25 years experience in the technology industry. John has significant experience of working with both direct channels to market and also channel partners such as Value Added Resellers (VARs), Distributors, Systems Integrators and Developers. Before joining Psion, John was head of energy company EON’s Corporate Business Division, responsible for improving the performance and profitability of a division with sales of £1.5bn. Prior to this, John spent many years growing or turning round technology businesses as CEO.