Put Your Career In Front of New Opportunities
I think people always don't sort of think about like how you get discovered and magically getting the seat next to a plane, next to someone who answers all your problems. I'm gonna tell you right now after all the flights I've been takin' there was one time I had the magical person sitting next to me, and I didn't think so at the beginning. I like to get on the plane and be quiet, this person likes to talk, or this person when we sat next to them, talker, because I'm an anxious flyer. Ends up he was a roadie who was returning home after touring for three months with Anthrax, I had the best like three-hour flight next to someone in my life, right? I had more fun in that conversation, but that kind of serendipity and luck, you know, you put yourself in front of serendipity and luck and it gets exactly to your question on short form content. Excuse me, you're going to get stuck with another Kellyism. Old school thinking about, alright, it's what 'ya know and all the other people saying in...
terms of how 'ya get ahead in life, it's who 'ya know, and I'm like, no, no, no. It's not who you know or what you know, it's who knows what you know. That whole section I had of this class about what's networking generosity, telling your network exactly what 'ya need, giving them the reasons because of who you are as an individual and also what's your expertise, what your experience is, so that they wanna recommend you. This is how you put yourself in front of serendipity. You place yourself there. It's not like the lucky airline seat, or walking through the cosmetic counter at Barney's, or whatever it may be, you put yourself in front of this by how you're showing up and whether that's on-line or off-line. And I stress on-line because, and more and more frequently, 'cause that old, I'm gonna say back to me being the lawyer, you know, word of mouth spreads a lot further than in the old days when, you know, you were just like, the old Breck commercial and they told two friends, and they told two friends, alright. You know I throw out these references just to see, (audience laughing) how old people in the audience are and I am that old, I am that old. So who knows what you know? So that's partly why I wanted you to look at what are your last social media posts, that's why those worksheets, what does your profile look like? Have you got it really directed, all these tools, who you are on-line, who you are on off-line, how you're telling people regardless of what the role is in your life, you know, the dog walker, or the former colleague, what are you telling them you're interested. Are you just telling your neighbor your job's really good, or you're sharing with them how much you love what you're doing or what's the new thing you're looking for. So some of the serendipity from who knows what you know that's come to my life. The YWCA of New York city contacted me. They had a leadership event for girls, and they invited 100 prominent New York women and I got this letter and I'm like, did you get the B list, was everyone else busy that day? They wanted women who lived in New York City who were visible and out there speaking on empowering women and girls and they wanted women who were out who met their second mission, which was fighting racism. And that's how they found my name because they saw what I was posting and I was talking about. And then I sit down with people and they said, hey, oh my god, you're sitting at the same table as Janet Mock, and I'm like who, what, no, I'm so out of it sometimes in terms of who people are and whatever and I'm looking at the next table going, you've got Christy Turlington here, how did you find me? But that's where serendipity comes in. I've got the same power as Janet Mock or, or as you do, as Christy Turlington to share meaningfully and to add value and it doesn't matter if 50 people find this useful or five or 500,000, you put out there what you stand for, what you wanna be known for, what you want coming your way and you know what, amazing things happen. This is one of my favorites 'cause it brings so many things together. So Sandy Cross is the head of Diversity Inclusion for the PGA of America. I wrote a blog post back in 2010, 2011, somewhere in there, and it's on why I learned to play golf. And back when I started my legal career and this would have been in around 1995, 93, 94, 95, when this happened, I had worked on an insolvency case when I was still practicing Canada, and I would go to court and they're be 200 lawyers and bankers and accounts and out of 200 people in, you know, a dark sea of suits there was two women and otherwise it was a sea of men of a certain age. And my mentor took me for lunch after our part in this case had finished and he said, Kelly do you like what you're doing? And I said, absolutely, I love it. He said, do you notice anything about the Bankruptcy Bar in Toronto? And I'm like, no shit Sherlock, they all look like you, 58 year old white guy. He said yeah, and we all golf. So the question is Kelly, do you golf? Gets to the story when Maxie and I had our conversation in the second segment of the class today. What are you gonna do to get in the room? So I looked at this mentor and I said, I guess I'm gonna learn. He says that's the right answer 'cause here's how business is done in the Insolvency Bar, in Toronto, the bankers, the lawyers, the trustees, the accountants, we golf. This is where decisions are made on who gets cases and I want you in that room. So he taught me how to play golf, but he needed to know that I was going to put that one as well 'cause he's like, I don't care if your a good golfer, you could suck at it for all I care, but I need you on the golf course. I don't care if you play three holes out of or whatever, I need you in that room if I'm going to push your career forward in this area, I need you there. So I wrote this blog post and it was the idea like we can have what we want but we need to understand that when you set that goal and you think about who are the people who can help you get ahead, there may be tactics, there may be things you gotta do that you're like really, you know, think of Joe Styler, I gotta go to Vegas for a conference. I need to learn how to play golf. And it was writing this, this blog post and why I learned to play golf to sort of say, you know, think this through. Don't just get all upset, oh my god, this is the way people, no that's the way people do business development. Think about it, is that gonna work for you? Is that way that they build relationships, is that gonna make you successful if you have to do that because getting frustrated on being on the outside of the room is really hard. It's once you're in the room, once you're heard, you can change what's going on but you gotta be prepared to do that. So I wrote that post and three years later I got an email, hi, my name's Sandy Cross, I'm with the PGA of America, I read your post. Would you be interested in coming and speaking at, and I'm like, well wouldn't I like to come to Louisville, Kentucky and speak at the PGA, thank you very much. So I haven't played golf in years. I annoy my golfer friends because I get to go to things like PGA Championships and speak at events that they hold. But I didn't write a blog post with the goal of, hey I wanna speak at the PGA, I wrote a blog post to share an experience hopefully to help other ambitious, young, career focused, individuals, particularly women, I hoped to inspire them to say, hey, this is what you, this might be a decision you need to make. So instead of getting frustrated with your career 'cause you don't like the way business development or the relationship building is done, think about it before you step into, you know, could be that cess pool, it could be whatever it may be, before you step in there take the landscape and strategize, you know, just like Maxie did, alright, this is what I gotta do, (breathing in) big breath, let's, let's get there and do it. But that was always a fun one 'cause it brought, brought so many things together. And, and what's also too is interesting, Sandy, when I interviewed her for my book, so she's Diversity Inclusion for the PGA, she's making her connections as she noted on-line, she's also actively attending Diversity Inclusion events in industries that have nothing and do not touch on the PGA at all, have nothing to do with sport, because sometimes, you know, you talk about that, I'm gonna say, your broad, your narrow network, your expertise, you need different perspectives. You need to bring in other things and learn from what's happening elsewhere and how it can add to what you're doing and what it is you're trying to achieve.