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Networks, Networking & Interesting Stuff

Thoughts on the stuff that makes the world go round

Musical Chairs

Another one of those chance conversations that lead somewhere unexpected... I've been a volunteer reader on our local Talking Newspaper for a couple of years. Never got involved in the committee, governance or management side of things, just did the read, put the USB sticks in envelopes and went home. A few weeks back, during our 'cake break' in recording, I happened to be chatting to our engineer and regaling him with the latest instalment about dealing with what are euphemistically called 'strong characters' in my role as Chair of another voluntary organisation. I didn't think any more about it until a couple of weeks later when that same engineer (who I hadn't realised also happened to be Chair of the Talking Newspaper) called to say "I'm stepping down as Chair to spend more time travelling- would you be prepared to take over?"

Having agreed with my wife that I wasn't going to take on any additional voluntary work, I defended my 'volte face' on the basis that this wasn't an additional commitment, just an extension of an existing one with a commitment of 'only' four board meetings a year. So this week, after being nominated at the AGM, the Hexham Courant reports that 'Talking Newspaper Has New Chief'.

But the point is this. I didn't actively pursue the role, and I only took it on because the charity was hard-pushed to find someone else to take on that responsibility. I was approached to do it because of an entirely chance conversation in which I had given enough information about myself and my experience to allow a third party to decide that I had the skills required to do the job.I hadn't been 'selling' or promoting myself, just having a chat and swapping stories over a piece of home made cake.

You don't know what to backup until it's gone...
Gathering: Lessons in professional networking from...


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