058: The 10x response of giving back to your network with Bob Jonas

About Bob Jonas

Bob Jonas is an experienced business owner, entrepreneur, corporate executive, management consultant, and executive coach. Bob has founded and operated several manufacturing and business service companies during the past 30 years. He focuses on helping executives manage change with value growth planning to achieve the business owners’ business goals and objectives. He provides time-proven methodologies that transition the management orientation to profit, causes management to focus on its customers and prospects, creates a sense of urgency, builds teams to handle complexity of growth and provides the communication tools to share the long view of the firm’s direction. 


What is agile strategy?

“Agile strategy takes the concept of agile from a software development standpoint. I’ve taken the concept of agile thinking and applied it to strategy in that it goes in many directions within a business. Agile strategy really drills down into the fine parts of taking the strategy plan and the strategy statement and driving it down into actions; into the individual tasks that have to be done.”


Why does strategy fail?

“In developing the strategy, often the manager does not communicate the strategy very well to everybody. They kind of expect that the members of their organization will understand what they’re doing without telling them. They also just don’t focus on what’s going to happen in the marketplace.”


How do you convert meeting someone at a networking event into a qualified lead?

“The idea is to meet the people that you want to meet, so there is some preparation work that you have to do in advance of going to a networking event. Once you do that and identify those people, you are doing two things. You’re asking to find that person, if you don’t know them you want to find someone who can introduce you. Then the idea is to get their information. Not to give yours.”


Share with us one of your best networking stories

"I was at a Harris Bank presentation about seven years ago and I was sitting at a table with one of my clients because he had asked me to come with. So at that table, there were nine other people. One of the attendees asked my client, ‘who does the strategy work for you? Who facilitates that process?’ and he just pointed a finger. And because of that, I ended up doing seven additional plans in the first quarter.”


How do you stay in front of your network or community?

"One of the ways that I continuously stay in contact with them is by… staying in contact with them. And that’s changed through the years. The way that I’m doing it now is primarily by email or text. Whatever they prefer. Sometimes I’ll do a speaking engagement and I’ll invite my 3000 people in my network.”


What advice do you have for business professionals looking to grow their networks?

"You really need to identify who the specific person is that you want to serve. ‘Persona’ is the label that has come to define that. You have to define the persona. That could be multiple people. There could be multiple personas that you want to do. Understand who that person is that you want to talk to and actually write it out.”


Digital networking or traditional networking?

"I think the whole idea is to define what you want to accomplish and who you need to accomplish it. Linked in, I have tested it to maintain and to establish connections. I tested it for about 30 days and in that time frame I doubled the number of people that I was connecting with. I still believe that you have to do both. In any professional business services, you need to have that face to face, that trust factor.”


If you could go back to your 20-year-old self, what would you tell yourself to do more or less of regarding your career?

“I would have gone to work for a large consulting firm. Because later I was pursued by large consulting firms after I was successful on my own. I realized while I was in the corporate world that I wasn’t going to be the president of a large public company.”


Who would you love to connect with and do you think you could do it within 6 degrees?

“I think I could connect with anyone in 6 degrees. I’m not afraid to ask somebody for an introduction. The person that I’ve been impressed with was Dr. Demming, but he’s passed. I had some training under his protégé in understanding how the Japanese took over the United States. Not in war, but in economics.”


What book are you reading right now?

There has been only a few books written on agile, so I’m devouring those right now to see what they’ve been doing. I’m a murder mystery fan, so a lot of my time is spent with audio. Anything with Patterson or Clancy. Those are the authors who I spend my time with.”


Any final words of advice for our listeners?

“Give back. You’ll have a 10x response by giving back. When someone has a problem or challenge, I will provide them a solution no matter what it takes. Networking isn’t what I can get, it’s what I can do for you.”