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Well Connected: An Unconventional Approach to Building Genuine, Effective Business Relationships

ISBN: 978-0-470-57794-3
240 pages
July 2010, Jossey-Bass
Well Connected: An Unconventional Approach to Building Genuine, Effective Business Relationships (0470577940) cover image


Achieve your goals by selectively engaging the right people and connecting well with them

Smart executives who want to reach virtually any business goal-from raising capital to finding sales leads to finding the perfect job-know that networking is the key to their success. But traditional networking approaches-meet as many people as possible, amass huge numbers of "connections" and "friends" in your LinkedIn and Facebook networks-rarely produce more than a handful of relationships that pay off. In Well-Connected, networking maven and coach Gordon Curtis explains that the secret to building truly effective relationships is to narrow--rather than widen--your network. His proven methodology for building key relationships that deliver results every time emphasizes selectively engaging the right people and connecting with them well : First, identify a "critical enabler," someone who has access to the knowledge you need and is inclined to help you; second, unlock the critical enabler's willingness and ability to provide what you need by offering her something valuable before you ask her or him for anything.

  • Well-Connected reveals a breakthrough approach to networking that delivers predictable, positive results
  • Filled with success stories, the book provides an accessible action plan for all readers
  • Networking maven Gordon Curtis has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, The Boston Sunday Globe, Fast Company Magazine

Well-Connected serves as the playbook for sophisticated business people who know there's a better way to connect with the right people to get things done better and faster.

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Table of Contents

1 Redefining Networking for the Twenty-First Century 1

2 Prep Work: Rethinking Your Networking Strategy 22

3 Articulating Your Objective 52

4 The Right Person: Identifying Your Critical Enabler 73

5 The Referral: Landing an Introduction to a Critical Enabler 92

6 The Right Approach: Providing Value to Your Critical Enabler 111

7 The Right Person: Selecting a Critical Enabler Who Is Inclined, Available, and Like-Minded 151

8 Putting It All Together 170

9 Conclusion: Using the Right Person–Right Approach Method to Gain Clarity, Control, and Confidence 201

Acknowledgments 215

About the Author 219

Index 221

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Author Information

Gordon S. Curtis is an executive transition coach, agent, and principal of Curtis Consulting.His firm helps top executives accelerate and succeed in the critical leadership phases of realignment, advancement, career transition, and assimilation. Before that, Curtis served as director of career services and alumni relations at Boston College Graduate School of Management and as an account executive at Right Management Consulting. A sought-after speaker, he has been featured in the Financial Times, Wall Street Journal, Boston Sunday Globe, and Fast Company, among others.

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Press Release

July 12, 2010
An Unconventional Approach to Building Genuine, Effective Business Relationships

In today’s shaky economy of high unemployment and tightening budgets, professionals recognize that solid networking skills are more important than ever. But for too many business people, networking has boiled down to collecting names. While they may have access to thousands of contacts and acquaintances via LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter or any one of the exploding number of social networking sites, many people still have trouble finding that one person who can seal their next business deal or help them land an interview.

Gordon Curtis re-evaluates and provides a new solution for how well we connect in WELL CONNECTED (Jossey-Bass; July 2010).  In an unconventional new approach, WELL CONNECTED demonstrates how by trading quantity for quality in business relationships freeing professionals to hone in on those key individuals most likely to make a huge and measurable impact. Curtis spells out how best to identify these “critical enablers,” spark their motivation and establish mutually-beneficial relationships, providing dozens of real-life examples along the way. 

WELL CONNECTED delivers a step-by-step roadmap to transforming your networking strategy by incorporating what Curtis calls the Right Person – Right Approach method. Detailed steps include how to: 

  • Clearly articulate your objective — Learn how to identify and measure both micro and macro objectives so your audience always knows what you are asking and how to help
  • Identify the critical enabler — Develop an “unfair advantage” by locating not only exactly what type of intelligence or relationships you need, but who best to get it from.
  • Provide the right gesture of reciprocity— Position yourself in a way that your critical enablers not only agree to talk to you out of obligation, but are motivated to help you. 

WELL CONNECTED delivers an approach to achieving virtually any business or career goal, such as:

  • Gathering critical market research and intelligence
  • Generating client referrals
  • Fundraising
  • Short-cutting hours of research
  • Selecting vendors
  • Finding and landing a job
  • Preparing for and engaging in interviews
  • Speeding up the sales process 

Curtis proves that succeeding during difficult times isn’t just about being connected. It’s about being WELL CONNECTED.

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