Tag Archives: Networking

Jihad vs. McWorld- A Broader Definition of Networking

-Jihad includes the forces of disintegral tribalism and reactionary fundamentalism- Islam is not the issue. On the other hand McWorld includes the forces of integrative modernization and aggressive economic and cultural globalization. A broad definition of our world today can be summed up by Jihad vs. McWorld. The parallels between the two are great, each operates with equal strength in opposite ways. Fox example, Jihad forges communities of blood rooted in exclusion and hatred, communities that slight democracy in favor of tyrannical paternalism or consensual tribalism. McWorld on the other hand forges global markets rooted in consumption and profit-economically based if you will.-

How do these two groups affect the global markets economically? Well McWorlds rise began by selling the American Culture. Of the top 25 advertising firms, 15 are American, and thus sell American culture. How important is this? Well Pepsi placed an ad in 40 different markets that could be seen by 20% of the human race! The extent of such marketing goes to show you just how powerful certain aspects of the McWorld nature are. In many cases such corporations are more global players than nations themselves. McDonalds serves 20 million customers every day- that’s more people than the populations of Greece, Ireland, and Switzerland combined! Still not convinced? GM, the world’s largest company, employs more people than in many small countries. The overall effect of these McWorld associates reign in huge changes on the world, and the global economy, based on every decision they make.

When we talk about American based companies selling American culture, they cover several areas: popular culture, prosperity, ubiquitous imagery and software, and the American soul… Many argue that McWorld is one of the key flatteners and contributors to the global economy. In this global economy, services are the first “citizen” of McWorld. These services can be broken down into three sub categories. Traditional Service Sector: those who serve people directly with food, transportation, health, who deliver services directly to the individual human body. Systems Facilitation Sector: Those who serve the infrastructure including lawyers, accountants, bankers, and computer operators- all serve the corporate body. Information Sector: Those who create and control the world of signs and symbols through which all information, communication, and entertainment are mediated. They also minister to the individual human and collective corporate soul. An important note for this sector includes the well known saying: Knowledge is power. Moreover, he who controls information and communications can rule the world in the scheme of the global economy.

Well, what makes such a dynamic system run? Well you would be surprised… Hollywood is McWorlds storyteller, and TV and MTV are McWorlds soul. Who exactly controls McWorld you ask? Well there are currently about 23 corporations that control most of the business in daily newspapers, magazines, television, books, and motion pictures. The vertical integration of media is a relatively new phenomenon. This global frenzy is conducted under the goal of synergy. These “synergetic” ideas help create a common identity which is the direct enemy of Jihad.

In later posts we will explore the world of Jihad. Until then, just think, every time you see a Pepsi logo, or drink a Pepsi, over 20% of the world’s population can identify with you!

Bridge Burners set Themselves on Fire

The obvious in life doesn’t always need repeating, however in some cases the obvious doesn’t always stick, and repetition is deemed necessary.

“If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t’ say anything at all” is one of those obvious phrases that you hate hearing over and over..and over. You think such an idea is obvious- why would you express something negative to someone, what good does it do?

Well, it burns bridges.

Here is the simple scenario. You know the feeling when you are approached with a new idea, a new opportunity, a new path that looks promising, and you jump on it? Think of this as your island filled with new resources and opportunities.

Now, think of all the current relationships you have, all the opportunities you are currently striving towards, or even the business you are currently with. In your everyday life, most people create a subconscious social ladder in their head. In primary terms: I know I am better than him/her, he has a higher position than me and doesn’t’ deserve it…i.e. the things you think, but would never say. This is your homeland, your current niche and manifestation.

Well when approached with a new opportunity, and the right catch phrase, you may immediately assign yourself superiority- essentially get cocky. At this time, it is seen so often in business, people put down people they have worked with for years, and tell them what they really think. The motivation behind this is due to the fact that they believe this new idea will propel them to new heights.


This is the concept of “bridge burning”- and trust me, while letting all that out might feel good, just wait until you realize the dangerous position you put yourself in.

After you cross that bridge, from your homeland to the new and promising island, and burn it, you can’t go back. Period.

In business, as you should understand from my previous posts, networking is VITAL. Why on earth would you practice such a concept as bridge burning? Build bridges people!

You never know when you will need something you hadn’t foreseen. What is most unfortunate, and usually the case, is that many times that bridge you just burned, and all the people you left on your homeland, will not help you with anything you ask. Why? Well human logic! If I am a farmer and I discovered this new chemical that will triple my corn yield- which upon discovery I tell you how I am the “big fish” and how you are nothing- but upon application it kills your entire corn crop, well when you need corn to feed your family and the emergency plan was your friend you just told off, guess what- your a cooked fish now.

The importance of this bridge building and not burning idea is highlighted in many business related text. If you want to explore it further, including methodology, origins, pros and cons, by all means check these links out!

Helium: http://www.helium.com/items/252848-careers-how-not-to-burn-bridges-when-you-leave-your-job

New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2007/08/05/business/yourmoney/05career.html

If you don’t’ have time to read all that text, keep this in mind: When you are leaving a job or relationship instead of releasing all of your pent up frustration, and putting down the person or group on the other side of the relationship, buy them a bottle of their favorite wine, take them out to dinner, give them lavish compliments, use this as an OPPORTUNITY to make a wooden bridge a steel one.

Work from wood to steel…why?

Steel doesn’t burn.

Etiquette is an entrance, or dead end, to Networking

When you were young do you know how your parents knew you were lying? Eye contact.

Eye contact is just one tool every person has at their disposal when it comes to efficient, successful networking.

Today I was fortunate enough to hear from Mrs. Kathleen Harshberger from “The Protocol School of Washington”. In her hour and a half long presentation she highlighted several methods of engagement and presence that would propel any graduate into a corporate world full of opportunities.

So do you recall the other day when you friend asked you what you got on your math test, and you said eh, a 65?  Then, after realizing they did better, you added on the limiter “but grades dont’ really matter anymore, as long as you graduate”. Well your 85% right. Did you know, based on a study by Harvard University, The Carnegie Foundation, and The Stanford Research Institute, that “technical skills and knowledge account for 15% of the reason you get a job, keep a job, and advance in a job. However, 85% of your job success is connected to your people skills and networking skills”?

Most avid studying aficionados can’t get past the idea that grades are not important. Now I know the few of you reading that know me well, know that in High School yeah, this was me 100%. I should assure you that while I was an avid scholar, you know right well I knew how to network.

Now that I have cleared that piece of debris out of the way, I want to continue sharing what Mrs. Harshberger shared with the attendees today.

The first time you meet someone, and each subsequent visit, it is important that you create a presence. How? Eye Contact. Entrance. Handshake. Posture. Introduction. People Skills. All of these create a presence whether you know it or not. Usually if you are aware of these fields, you recognize their importance and are therefore proficient in their application. However if you don’t know about these fields, you don’t know that you are automatically setting yourself up for a disadvantage.

One specific, eye contact is vastly important no matter what cultural setting you are networking in.  In North America, and Canada, eye contact between 40-60% of the time creates a credible scene, anything less and your perceived as sneaky, lying, and like your holding something back.

Eye contact is just one form of nonverbal communication. Do you know how much information is conveyed in a handshake? A handshake reveals and conveys endless data. In any business or networking situation, the person who extends their hand first has the advantage. In order to insure it’s you, always have your right hand free. Secondly, always hold your glass in your left hand. Why? Who wants to shake a clammy, wet right hand fresh off holding a cold beverage? What message does that immediately send to the potential “networkee”?

The handshake really is a beautiful thing if practiced correctly. For example, I am sure you all have experienced the “bone crusher” the “fingertip holder” the “two hand shake” and many other forms of the handshake. In current day business and social settings the only appropriate shake is one where your thumb is up, fingers are out, and a nice firm grasp is administered followed by 3-4 shakes.

During and after a handshake is also the appropriate time to administer an introduction. Do not place a honorific on yourself, unless the other person has. In other words do not label yourself as “It’s nice to meet you, I’m Dr. Latka”. This immediately makes the person you are introducing yourself to feel like you think you are more important than them- not the right foot to build a network on.

In many networking settings, a meal is consumed. However in 99.9% of the cases, the eating is not the main objective. Rather it is the ability to repsectfully handle yourself, manage your food/consumption, and create a natural flow of conversation at the same time. Someone lookoing to network with you can learn a great deal simply by observing you at a meal.

In the words of a fortune 500 CEO, “Eating is not an executive skill, but it is especially hard to imagine why anyone negotiating a rise to the top would consider it possible to skip mastering the very simple requirements…what else did they skip learning???”

Establish your credibility people.

“The World is Flat”

Rainy days are great for blogging-and reading! Have any of you ever read “The World is Flat”? If you haven’t I HIGHLY recommend it. For the purposes of this blog here is a quick summary: http://www.wikisummaries.org/The_World_Is_Flat

The technical ability of our generation and past generations is one of the main underlying themes of the book in my opinion. In todays economy, and the clear evidence of how flat the world has become, how should people differentiate their lives to take advantage of the current setting and survive?

For myself, the current economic turmoil, and the general decay of economic confidence has motivated me to become more involved in everyday activities as well as reach out to access new ones. I recently put together a large scale Presidential Campaign at my college- designed to reach out to over 5000 students. I knew, regardless of the outcome, that this was an opportunity as much as a campaign.

This brings me to the all important, one-word, activity that will insure any person success should they pursue it actively and vigorously.

This Campaign provided me with an entrance in which I could pursue any person on campus. For example, if you were walking down the street and were pursued by someone who asked “Hey how are you?” most people would immediately see this as very creepy. However if the person approaches you and quickly establishes a motive, the door completely opens for further conversation.

I used this application about 500 times in about 6 days on the campaign trail. My goal was to get into the heads of students, understand their values, goals, and ambitions, and seek to explore how I could help them with each of these three aspects. Establishing such relationships and getting the opportunity to understand others was a key aspect in the election, and is a key aspect in our current world.

I will leave you guys with an analogy applicable to this post: Networking is like a spider spinning its web. The larger the your web, the more you catch.

-Nathan Latka