As a blog writer, you always have your eyes and ears open for interesting networking stories that you can share. One such story comes from the Ottawa Networking Group on LinkedIn where Mike Hughes “Canada’s Official Networking Guru” hangs his hat. I first saw Mike’s networking handle when going through the members of the network to see if I could find a few friends of mine. I contacted Mike to see if he would be interested in giving me a story on who he was and how he became “Canada’s Networking Guru”. The rest was left up to Mike.
After a few emails back and forth about getting together for the story I got bogged down in making a living and then December rolled around, and Mike and I still had not been in contact. Then out of the blue, an email arrives with an important comment on an area that I should consider in regards to a new business concept I was launching in Ottawa and whose name was signed to that email; Mike Hughes “Canada’s Networking Guru”
Mike’s been in the networking game for the past 15 years. He got his impressive title from a newspaper article that ran a story on him and a writer that was so impressed with Mike, his programs and his approach to networking that he called him “Canada’s Networking Guru” and it stuck. He now uses this name to identify everything he does in the area of networking. It only takes a few minutes in conversation with Mike and you know you are talking with a special individual. His rapid delivery of who he is and why he got involved in networking convinces you early in the discussion that he is the real deal. He tells you about his impressive background as Past Chairman of the Ottawa Chamber of Commerce, his life as a professional speaker at international conferences and his view that “networking is a skill you develop” and “not something you do’ and you are engaged immediately. His social capital is worth receiving and it’s sprinkled with valuable information from the get-go.
“Networking” says Mike “is a business skill that most of us should learn and don’t”. Without catching a breath, he continues “networking should be a corporate required competency that everyone should learn whether they are in management, sales or owning a business” Now Mike’s on a roll. “Networking is about building a relationship on steroids, it’s not about selling yourself or your business but focusing in on building a solid relationship with others and you have about three minutes of conversation to build a meaningful relationship with others so you need to get it right from the start.”
He then goes on to tell me more about his “Networking for Results System” which includes some 40 hours of audio and written work and his ½ day and full day training sessions. Mike says that networking is all about context, communicating effectively and contributing to others. Mike is also a man in demand. He has been training businesses people, associations, government departments, and members of Chambers of Commerce across Canada and has spoken to groups all over North America on his “Networking for Results System’. Mike has me all fired up and I want to learn more. I hope you do too. This column is just the start. To get more information and valuable networking tips from Mike Hughes “Canada’s Networking Guru” check out his website at www.networkingforresults.com.
Kensel Tracy is the Marketing Coach and is a Senior Partner with the Corporate Coachworkz Inc. (www.corporatecoachworkz.com) in Chelsea, Quebec. He is also launching Business over Breakfast Clubs (BoB Clubs) business and breakfast referral networking clubs in all cities across North America.