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Who’s your Charlie?

by Randall Craig on September 1, 2010

Filed in: Blog, Make It Happen Tipsheet, Networking

Tagged as: ,

One of the most productive ways to see a country, especially where you don’t speak the language, is to hire a private guide. You get an insider’s perspective, a translator, and a driver all rolled into one.

And if you are lucky enough to have a tour guide like Charlie, then you might also learn a few things… about networking.

He didn’t talk about networking at all, but he certainly lived it. Over two weeks, he greeted, shook hands, hugged, and kissed approximately 20 people each and every day. It didn’t matter if it was me and my group, the security guard, cashier, or the driver in the next car. Everyone got attention.

When asked to explain, he simply said that he “likes people”. (When asked about how he finds new clients, he explains very simply: His clients like him, so they tell their friends. Hmmm.)

As I’ve written about extensively, Give-to-Get is the primary mechanism to develop value-based relationships with others. The lesson from Charlie is that a friendly face and some personal recognition both have an intrinsic value of their own. And that this value grows over time.

This Week’s Action Plan: This simple lesson was earned through a relationship with a tour guide. Often, our best teachers are those around us – even if they don’t know you’re the student. Who’s your Charlie?

Bonus Action Idea: This week, spend time each day giving personal recognition – even a friendly hello will do – to those around you. So simple, yet an incredibly powerful network builder.

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Randall Craig

@RandallCraig (follow me)



Randall has been advising on Web and Social Strategy since 1994 when he put the Toronto Star online, the Globe and Mail's GlobeInvestor/Globefund, several financial institutions, and about 100+ other major organizations. He is the author of seven books, including the recently released "Everything Guide to Starting an Online Business", and speaks across North America on Social Media and Web Strategy. More at and

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