By Laurel Dasher
Networking leads to more opportunities for involvement in the industry. The more people you know, the more people you can influence—and be influenced by—both professionally and personally. As a YEN member, you already have a network of more than 650 associates, all of whom share at least one common interest—the automotive aftermarket.
"How can I get more involved?” That’s one of the most common questions that Young Executives Network (YEN) members ask the Select Committee. It is the single most important question that drives the committee, yet it is the most difficult question for us to answer. After endless conversations and much debate, the best answer we can give you is to utilize the networking opportunities available and become a master networker.
Most people aren’t born great networkers. It is a learned skill that takes a great deal of practice and gumption.
Networking can be as simple—and sometimes as difficult—as walking up to someone at an industry event, introducing yourself and striking up a completely random conversation. At the very least, you will walk away with one more person added to your network.
Networking will not only help you to become a great leader, but will ultimately lead you to more opportunities for involvement in the industry. The more people you know, the more people you can influence—and be influenced by—both professionally and personally.
As a YEN member, you already have a network of more than 650 associates, all of whom share at least one common interest—the automotive aftermarket. How you utilize this network is up to you. It is unrealistic to attend every SEMA mixer or event, so why not embrace the technology that is available to you today: e-mails, phone calls and networking websites.
I would like to leave you with six networking strategies that I read in Understanding Influence for Leaders at All Levels, by Robyn Henderson: communication and connecting, giving recognition, empowering others, becoming a role model, building strategic alliances and masterminding a group (i.e., creating your own YEN circle). Now get networking!
During the week of the Hotrod & Restoration Trade Show, YEN will hold a mixer where members can practice their networking skills. Be sure to attend.
The Ram Restaurant & Brewery
Thursday, March 12, 2009
6:00 p.m.–8:00 p.m.
140 South Illinois St.
Indianapolis, IN 43225
In addition, YEN will be holding several regional mixers in 2009. Information on these events will be publicized in SEMA eNews, SEMA Member News and on the YEN webpage (www.sema.org/yen). For more information about upcoming mixers or other YEN events, contact SEMA Council Relations Director and YEN Liaison Paul Moritz at 909/396-0289, ext. 112 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.