Sunday 31 May 2009

The six degrees of lois weisberg

Lois is far from being the most important or the most powerful person in Chicago. But if you connect all the dots that constitute the vast apparatus of government and influence and interest groups in the city of Chicago you'll end up coming back to Lois again and again. Lois is a connector.

Lois, it must be said, did not set out to know everyone. "She doesn't network for the sake of networking," says Gary Johnson, who was Lois's boss years ago, when she was executive director of the Chicago Council of Lawyers. "I just think she has the confidence that all the people in the world, whether she's met them or not, are in her Rolodex already, and that all she has to do is figure out how to reach them and she'll be able to connect with them."

Someone recently asked me about LinkedIn; I told them about my old TeledyN post on how your network really isn't 'larger than you think' but perhaps what I really should have said is that you won't get anywhere with LinkedIn unless you know a Lois, and if you know a Lois, you won't need LinkedIn.

I had a Lois once upon a time, an agent by the name of Steve Hope, and I was never without a really nice gig. Steve knew me, loved my work, and he just had the knack. It was a beautiful relationship, but sadly Steve made his money and left The Biz; I did fairly well with another Lois-like agency who collectively had some ins, but it was nothing like the says with Steve and their agents each wandered off in their own directions, all outside of the realms of my work, and that was it, pretty much, the end of my illustrious career. I rode on my own network for a while until the dot-bomb blew them all out of the game, but without my Lois, there was no one to inject the neo-connections that could sustain full time work, and despite what the vested interests say, it isn't really something you can just do by yourself, you have to be the type who does this, ie A Natural.

Your task then, is to find a Natural Hope, and do what you do from there.