Healthcare Leadership with Dan Nielsen: Networking

It has been my honor to serve as facilitator for literally hundreds of small and large healthcare education and networking events over the past 25 years. These education and networking events include healthcare CEOs, COOs, CFOs, CMOs, CNOs, CIOs, and many other senior healthcare executives. It has also been my privilege to serve as a personal and professional reference for literally hundreds of senior healthcare executives (colleagues and friends) during the time they were actively searching for a new or better position or opportunity.

Given that extensive background, experience and passion for personal and professional networking, I was eager to read Joe Sweeney’s new book, Networking Is A Contact Sport; How Staying Connected and Serving Others Will Help You Grow Your Business, Expand Your Influence – Or Even Land Your Next Job.

Unfortunately, many healthcare executives are passionate about networking only when they feel the need or the ‘voluntary or involuntary’ push for a new job. I cannot tell you how many hundreds of times I have received a call or an e-mail that basically says, “Hi Dan … just wanted to touch base with you … I am networking for a new job.”


Although I never say it, my first reaction is always the same … “Now is the worst time for you to be actively and passionately networking for a new job. You should have been actively and passionately networking two to three years ago. In fact, you should be actively and passionately networking all the time for a million excellent reasons. In addition, effective and appropriate networking is anything but synonymous with just looking for a new job.”

I like and agree with the major theme of Networking Is A Contact Sport … by far, the most effective and productive networking is about giving … not getting. Consider this excerpt: “The theme of Networking Is A Contact Sport is that when you truly give to others without any expectations or strings attached, you will receive much more than you ever could have expected.”  

Buy the book. Study it carefully. Don’t just read it … do something about it … put its recommendations into action. You and all those you serve will be better for it!

More on this critical subject next week…

Copyright © 2010 by Dan Nielsen,

Founder, National Institute for Healthcare Leadership

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