Friday, August 5, 2011

ceo's and bono, industry events, networking

in a harvard business school case, “bono and U2”, professor nancy koehn discusses business lessons to be earned from the famous band.

key concepts include:
  • ·     take stock of how you are using your funds, your authority and your people.
  • ·     a leader’s mission and purpose isn’t static; it evolves.
  • ·     the mission of the ceo should be related to the organizations performance.
  • ·     who you are and what you stand for as an organization have great relevance to the people who buy your product (or service)

“in the bigger picture, U2’s journey reflects our own moment here in the early 21st century.  U2’s appeal has always been about our common humanity and the yearning we all experience to follow a higher path. people are looking for the light and U2’s music has spoken to that since the band started.”

“any ceo who thinks his or her job is primarily about maximizing shareholder value is living in the past.  the game of what kind of capitalism will define this century has changed very quickly and dramatically.  creative capitalism, conscious capitalism, stakeholder capitalism, call it what you will.  the larger social footprint and role of business are here to stay.”

it’s a very interesting piece which i’ll be happy to send you.  and, while it’s written towards ceo’s of companies, when you think about it, we are all our own ceo’s of ourselves and the way we choose to live our lives matters to us, if to nobody else.  we have those choices to make.  i have made it my mission to try to bring the world closer together, one person at a time.  one of the wonderful byproducts of all the travel I’ve done is getting to meet people and understanding them better and hopefully leaving them with a little better understanding of americans.  we're talking about people here, not countries, not religions as we are all the same....human beings.  from the time very early one morning that I talked with a paris policeman who was guarding the palace of the president of france right after we invaded iraq and americans were ‘personna non gratt’ in france and we agreed that we did not hate each other, we just hated what america had done to meeting people in liberia and bringing back the challenges that they face, these experiences have been really meaningful to me.

like many of you, i’ve been planning what industry events to attend this fall and winter.  and as you can see by my schedule below, i’ve made some decisions already.  but it got me thinking:  what are my expectations from attending a conference?  are they met?  exceeded?  what is it that you’re not getting that you’d like to?  after all, attending almost any conference (and some in particular) is expensive and time consuming and when you combine those you’d like to leave a conference feeling that not only was it worth spending your time and money but that you would recommend it to a friend. 

if you have some time, i’d really appreciate you sending me your thoughts, perhaps wish list,  when you say, “ I wish there was an event which provided this (whatever this is to you).”  thanks.

thanks to drew genova of cbre in washington, dc who sent me an article called “secrets to better networking.”  the suggestions come from a book called “never make the first offer” by donald dell, founder of the proserv sports agency.

1.  make friends.  create opportunities to get to know people out of the office, out of the normal parameters of the business relationship and outside mutual comfort zones.
2.  make friends of their friends.
·    3.  find mentors.
·    4.  give advice (carefully)
·    5.  don’t keep score.
·    6.  massage your network. send personal notes.
·    7.  show no fear.
·    8.  do good works. charitable endeavors

i’ve built a wonderful network of people which is now global.  this column is read (or at least received J by people all over the world.  i consider it both a privilege and a responsibility and have always treated the people i know with respect and consideration.  my connectivity has never been calculated.  i just love people and love helping people.  i realized, not all that long ago, when I was trying to identify what made a good day for me, it was when i was able to help someone, not necessarily in a big way.  it feels good.  i endorse some of the points that dell makes above but a couple of things i’d add is ‘be yourself’, ‘be natural’, 'don't take people for granted' and 'don't abuse your network.'   

On the road….
aug 5-aug. 14:  northern california
aug. 15-19:  new york
aug. 29-sept. 9:  vacation
sept. 12-16:  new york
sept. 20-21: amsterdam to moderate a panel at the PERE Global Forum
oct. 4-6:  las vegas to be a panelist at CBRE’s Americas Summit on “The Commercial Real Estate Industry of the Future: A 5-10 Year Outlook.”  (Oh no, that crystal ball thing again!) Thanks to asieh mansour, CBRE’s head of research Americas for inviting me to join ray torto of CBRE and geof dohrmann of IREI in this discussion. 
oct. 17-19:  chicago to attend the PREA fall meeting
nov. 2-5: washington, dc to attend the CRE Annual convention 
nov. 9-10: new york to moderate a panel at the PERE forum

these are my views and not that of my employer.

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