Recap WITI Boston - October 24, 2012 Leadership Networking: Creating Your Competitive Advantage


Recap WITI Boston - October 24, 2012 Leadership Networking: Creating Your Competitive Advantage
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Recap WITI Boston - October 24, 2012 Leadership Networking: Creating Your Competitive Advantage
Speaker(s): Marcie Schorr Hirsch , Principal, Hirsch/Hills Associates
Patti Hunt Dirlam, Principal, Hunt Dirlam Associates
Sponsor/Host: Maureen McCarthy, Head of CRM Operations, CRM Center of Delivery, Thomson Reuters Boston

Submitted by: Patti Hunt Dirlam, Principal, Hunt Dirlam Associates and Deb Stark, WITI Boston Network Director

WITI Boston members met last week to do what they do best: Build, Inspire, and Empower. Add to that an opportunity to network with a room full of smart and savvy women and to learn a few strategic and practical lessons on how to lead and connect with others and you have a fun and unforgettable evening. The event started off at the Thomson Reuters Ticket Cafeteria located in an old, yet renovated, spaghetti factory. Our host, Maureen McCarthy catered the evening with a great spread of healthy appetizers and beverages. The WITI Boston team introduced themselves all sharing personal stories of why they volunteer time for WITI.

Our speakers, Marcie Schorr Hirsch, a leading organizational and workplace consultant and Patti Hunt Dirlam, an executive and career advancement coach and author ( were the presenters and based on their topic: Leadership Networking: Creating Your Competitive Advantage shared insights and tips on how to make the shift from seeing networking as 'working a room' to learning how to 'bring your best and be your best in every room'; be it making a presentation in a client's office, leading a department meeting, exchanging ideas around a restaurant table, or attending your favorite professional association event.

"when you become known as a resource, you not only gain competitive
advantage; you become the someone people want in their network!

The evening began with Marcie explaining how networking gets you places. She shared how Deb Stark, WITI Boston, was talking to a friend at Microsoft (a west coast company as you know) when the topic of meeting speakers came up. Her friend suggested Marcie-a former colleague from more than a dozen years back. Deb called Marcie who suggested Patti jointly present at the meeting. And who was in the WITI audience that night? One of Patti's neighbors! This example of reaching out to and tapping one's network set the tone for the evening. Marcie then explained the importance of a network in gaining a competitive advantage in all facets of a career and how the best networks are built on connections; which are developed on the ability to continuously offer help and to ask for help.

Patti emphasized the importance of having a wide circle of trusting and diverse relationships internally across functions, as well as building relationships externally and had the attendees complete "The Worlds I Travel In" exercise from her book The Power of Everyday Networking which in ten minutes showed everyone how many mutual interests and connections could be found in the room. She discussed how one's networking attitude (the way you look at yourself, at others, and work-life in general) and approach (your personal style to giving and receiving help) is the foundation for all networking activities; and she noted that when you become known as a resource-that woman sought out for her expertise and ability to have the answer or know where to find it-you not only gain competitive advantage; you become the someone people want in their network!

Throughout the evening, attendees shared their networking stories and exchanged cards. Sufficient time was spent to meet one another and build at trusted network through WITI. Patti raffled off a copy of her book and all agreed to sign up for her "Networking Know-how Daily" email. Are you curious? If so visit Patti's site and get on the mailing list or review her weekly blog here.

WITI Boston wishes to thank our host, Thomson Reuters, our wonderful speakers, Marcie and Patti and the WITI greeters and volunteers that evening including:

Deborah Stark, Network Director, [email protected]
Kelly Burton, Social Media Chair, [email protected]
Nirva Fereshetian, C-Suite Advisor and Co-Chair Events, [email protected]
Mary Ellen Sullivan, University Alliances Chair and Co-Chair Events, [email protected]
Alison Duncanson, Sponsorship Chair, [email protected]
Marina Gil-Santamaria, Membership Chair, [email protected]

To reach our speakers:
Patti Hunt Dirlam
Hunt Dirlam Associates
Moving Careers Forward
[email protected]

Marcie Schorr Hirsch
hirsch/hills associates management consulting
[email protected]

Quotes from the attendees:
"I came because I wanted to be inspired and I was"
"I liked what I learned especially how to expand and look at networks differently"
"I loved the exercise to think about the networks we already have"
"This was a great opportunity to meet great, smart, successful and interesting people"
"Very good presenters and helpful tips on networking"
"Good blend of one-on-one networking and speaker time"

twitter: @WITIboston

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