Spending an Hour
(Feb 06, 2009) Have you tried the "Spend an Hour with..." project? I've been having a great time getting to know new and old people. It's been a way to catch up with old friends (like Ami Givertz), renew old acquaintances (like Mike Johnson) and find new connections like Craig Silverman. Lots of conversations and lots of opportunities.
The idea is simple. You post a note (and send a piece of email) about the person you want to spend time with. The two of you figure out a good time to talk. You talk.
Magic happens when you use the phone. Physical reality is a remarkable supplement to online relationships. It's a great reason to overcome your call reluctance and get to know someone new.
Last week, I talked with Craig Silverman. It took a couple of weeks for us to get an hour where we both were free. Although I have met Craig once or twice (including Recruitfest), we never had a conversation that went beyond "Hi, good to know you. Here's my card." With no agenda and lots of energy, we got on the phone.
There's a reason that Craig has such a sterling reputation. The high energy entrepreneur spends his spare time coaching his kids' sports teams. He was bubbling over with offers to help me do this and that.
These days, Craig is the Vice President of Operations for UMSHealthcare, a recruiting franchise operation in the Health Care Industry. Focused on Medical Staffing where there is a job boom and a candidate shortage, the company gives its franchisees a list of viable candidates each day. In boom areas, placements are easy and candidates are hard. The headquarters operation does the heavy lifting of finding candidates. Franchise holders simply find the job and make the placement. (I'm sure that Craig will help out with a correction if I have the basic model wrong.)
Beginning in late January, I have been speaking with tons of people who are optimistic about the future of the economy. From Danny Cahill (this week at Bullhorn Live) to Craig, each of the optimists are willing to work really hard to keep the bad news at bay. In Craig's case, it's fairly obvious that he's going to have the best year of his career.
After an hour, I got off the phone hoping that I could find some ways to spend more time with Craig. I'm betting that I'll have lunch with him in Redwood City several times this year.
Jason and Avature deserve a round of applause for figuring out the "Spend an Hour With" project. I keep getting as great deal of benefit from this really simple idea. It's encouraged me to reach out and build real, multi-dimensional friendships with people in our community.
If you have any recommendations about people I should talk to, please let me know.