Thursday, October 30, 2008

There was lunch before Meet-up

In addition the group of I mentioned yesterday---three guys in similar businesses to mine---I have, for more than ten years gotten together for lunch with another group to meetup.

This group was originally assembled around a shared need: we had all recently become middle managers and were struggling with managing up and down in our organizations. All from affiliated industries the group is composed of a combination of clients and service providers. Similar in age we did not know each other well when we began to meet. Again, it was the regularity of those meetings---this time once per month--- that contributed to our success. Also the size of the group, there are six of us. The optimum size for a good discussion and large enough that if someone was a “no show” it still was viable. We quickly understood that if we met in the same place---in this case Delancey Street in San Francisco--- ( at the same time (11:45 before the lunch rush), within easy reach of public transportation and valet parking---it was easy to organize and none of us had a good reason to skip. The dates are scheduled at the end of lunch and one of us sends a casual email reminder the day before or day of. Over time we have became such creatures of habit we could order for each other if someone was running late. We have had over-the-top-big burger days and many where we split salads. I only mention this because: WE ALWAYS HAVE DESSERT. So there. It’s a decadent pleasure as well as a business meeting. Now you know all our secrets.

The value of this group to our careers cannot be measured. It has transcended three jobs for most of us. In many cases the actual referral to a job opening came from this lunch group. Certainly we discussed each and every opportunity comparing notes about who we knew or could introduce to smooth the way. As a service provider I received many opportunities I would not otherwise have known about. Amazing.

Over the last ten years this group has become so important to all of us: we share (in addition to the business stuff) trips, kids, dogs and dates. Again, amazing.

Try a lunch meetup!!!!!

P.S. Take a look at Dig Your Well Before You're Thirsty by Harvey Mackay, DoubleDay 1997 about networking. Described as "The Only Networking Book You'll Ever Need." It has tips that are relevant in any economy but particularly in the midst of a downturn…I saw it used for $3.89 today on Amazon (



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