Strange things happen at work and in life if you keep your eyes, ears and various other orifices open … So it was that a series of networking coincidences happened on my recent trip to Greece to give keynotes on leadership, marketing and HR in Athens recently for Boussias Communications. As the title of my post suggests, we should start with the simply fabulous song ‘In the lap of the Gods’ by Queen:
My journey to Athens began by sitting next to the British Ambassador for Greece on the plane to Athens (but I never got any Ferrero Rocher chocolates!) Once he got over his first impression that I might be a busker and not an author/speaker/business consultant, we got on rather well. Seems that we had both studied Ancient Greek and Latin, although our careers took rather different paths from then on. I asked him if there were any good restaurants around the Intercontinental hotel and he replied wistfully “Not really, it’s a pretty unpromising area really, full of strip clubs and brothels” – He was right – I attach a picture of the view from my swimming pool on the 8th floor – I imagine that the “Kinky Opera” must be an art gallery ! Reminds me a little of my blog post on the 3B’s of Reward – The Bar, The Bathroom and The Brothel.
The conference coincided with a general strike in Greece and as a result I was asked if I could devise a keynote at one day’s notice for the marketing conference. As a result ‘We will brand you’ was born. As a consequence I also got to meet the wonderful Richard Laermer – outrageous New York PR expert, all round provocateur and author of Punk Marketing – An excellent companion read to Punk Rock People Management. What is the statistical likelihood of this chance encounter happening? Turns out that I was able to connect Richard with my other great PR expert friend in NYC – Ellie Becker. This networking coincidence was a product of social media and face to face contact, which demonstrates that we need both to turn networking into business.
The conference also enabled me to meet Professor Adrian Furnham, who I have admired for a number of years. Adrian was struck by my infusion of HR academia and rock music so much that he said he would write a piece about Punk Rock People Management in the Sunday Times. I am indeed honoured.
The Marketing Director and HR Director events were extremely enjoyable, not least because they involved performances with two talented and beautiful women – one a mystery woman from L’Oreal and Pamela Caravas who is MD of Coaching Evolution. Pamela is pictured below with the amazing Dr Yiannis Kalogerakis and Yannis Kouris.
The lessons from this happy series of accidents are:
- You make your own luck by keeping your eyes, ears etc. open
- Both social media and traditional networking skills are required to turn networking opportunities into business
- Blend a deliberate approach to networking with an intuitive outlook
‘Punk Rock People Management – A no-nonsense guide to hiring, inspiring and firing staff’ is available via the Punk Rock People Management webpage. If you like this blog, you will also LOVE my other book ‘Sex, Leadership and Rock’n’Roll’. Contact us to book your next conference keynote based on our heady mixture of business and music. We have a free event on Punk Rock HR coming up for Senior HR people at the CIPD on November 24 – contact me for details if you wish to attend.
Finally, I still dream of going to the Ambassador’s Ball and getting my fair share of the Ferrero Rocher chocolates. Oh well, one can dream… Next, it’s off to meet Evan Davis from the BBC’s Today Programme and Dragons Den – I wonder what networking accidents will occur en route? ! It all comes down to Sex, Networking and Rock’n'Roll in the warped words of Ian Dury: