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Perhaps, what might have invigorated Roizen to climb up the corporate ladder and eventually made her to successfully settle up there were her frustrations over a series of unfortunate events, as brought about by the divorce of her parents, financial juncture during her high school and early college years and the accident which claimed her then boyfriend’s life. Although, each event did not occur immediately after the other, her perspective towards self-sufficiency had already been molded.
Nonetheless, what have had intensified her drive to pursue a career of her own and for her own was her boyfriend’s death. As noted in Roizen’s profile, that event has been the turning point for her to never again depend on another person’s fate. This realization has indeed placed her in the annals of well-respected figures in the business arena. However, the causality of her success in the corporate world could not be attributed alone to inauspicious events in her life. In fact, those events had just been a trigger that brought her to what she does best.
A success’ extent could not be measured as this is relative and depends on the values of the one aiming for it and because there’s no one best way in achieving it, which could be the main criteria for gauging success. Yet given the right network, exceptional skills and appropriate resources, and the ability to converge them creatively, success will surely come knocking on the door. As for Roizen’s case, she has not only been equipped with the drive, skills and the head for business but as well as the ability to thread a web of prospective business associates.
Not a few times that Heidi has proven her influence in the business scene. For the new investors, entrepreneurs and/or capitalists, it is she they turn to for advice and assistance. For those who are experiencing a career shift, it is Heidi who they turn to for the opportunity of being introduced to the right people and company. And for companies which are at the verge of or are experiencing juncture, Roizen will surely be chosen as one of those who would be chosen to maneuver the company back on track.
Her skills in strategic planning, network everaging, marketing and giving off advice helped her to gain other’s confidence in her. Not only that, her credibility is well-established that everyone respects her opinion, and with this, tapping her network to back-up other people’s favor is easy for her. She uses every resource (i. e. good connections) to influence others in their businesses or career plans. As evident in the case of Apple, having a celebrity-like status and having been able to position her self in different organizations in IT industry, easing Apple’s way back in the game became a success.
This she did by getting favors from well-respected executives and aggressive publicity. Her infectious determination, enthusiasm and guts are motivation enough to co-workers to persevere. Heidi’s success in building up a network of business colleagues could be attributed to this rule-of-thumb: 1) having the right access; 2) performance; and 3) consistency. Being a graduate of one of the best universities in the US1 and in the world2, access to the right network is not impossible.
With the use of access readily available to her, albeit few at first, she plunged into the challenges of the business world and built her way up restlessly and with sheer determination, never missing the opportunity to brush shoulders with the sought-after figures in business and to establish a good rapport with her. The nexus of business, pleasure, socialization and family life seems impossible to achieve, but Roizen was able to master the art of marrying these four aspects of her life with ease. For her, it is a must to build a life-long relationship with each member of the network she has.
Upon meeting new prospective people to include in her list of connections, she made it a point to send them an email informing them that she really had a wonderful time meeting up with them, while looking forward to doing business with them in the future. Being adept in the workaround of business, even the minute details of what is to be written in the correspondences she has to send to a colleague, may it be a thank-you letter or a business plan, up to introducing a neophyte to business gurus has to be convenient to and in benefit of all parties involved.
She knows too well that in the realm she belongs, a 24-hour’s work will not suffice to accomplish all transactions, and so to efficiently grant the favors of people asking for her aid, she sees to it that no one will go home a loser. What is more interesting about Heidi is her attitude towards creating a web of network. When she was just starting her career, she would rather establish her own circle of business associates with people who may just be newbie like her yet smart, creative and knowledgeable in their crafts, rather than with those who are already in the upper crust.
According to her, it is easier, nay, better to do such for when those people became successful; you know that you already have a good kinship with them. Since “networking” is not just a business for her but a lifestyle as well, she prefers throwing out parties in her very own yard. She cooks rather than calls for a catering service, encourages other invitees to share their specialty, and creates an ambience of intimacy so making each guest comfortable. Also, she would not throw a party without a purpose. Her invitees would always include those who she thinks will benefit from each other.
Roizen knows that corporate world is not big enough to not meet the same people in many instances. Sooner or later, she has to have a deal with the same people she has dealt with before and so it is a must to make a very good impression the very first time she works with them. This is what she calls performance. Being responsive to your colleagues needs and doing one’s job well and accordingly will surely help gain people’s trust and respect, thus Heidi makes it a point to deliver the best possible result to her clients or associates. Apart from performance, what is equally important for Roizen is the consistency in performance.
What she meant by consistency is the attitude of doing an excellent job in all circumstances – without exception. If one did a great job for the first time, then it is to be expected that she would do the same for each task given to her. Her rule-of-thumb and strategies in applying these rules has indeed made her successful in building up, maintaining and leveraging a network. For Roizen, while having the right connections is quite important, consistency and performance are just as very effective tools to maintain a relationship with people in her network.
A team player, Roizen’s ability to optimize efficiently and effectively all resources she has copes up with the caliber of the network she maintains. One perceived strength of her associates is that each is a master of his craft and is a well-respected executive. Apart from this, while in her own circle of associates she is the mediator or the catalyst, some members of her network are also the nuclei of their respective connections. Hence, her very own network expands through these nuclei.
On the other hand, as her circle of connections continuously expanding, it is inevitable to having to deal with competing industry leaders. In situations wherein she has to represent one to the other, it is of prime importance to maintain neutrality and confidentiality – as in the case when she has to make a deal with Microsoft in behalf of Macintosh. However, doing this part is not very easy, more so comfortable. Also, one of the weaknesses of her network (which is perhaps, also a weakness of others network) is that some puts forward his or her favors but does not know how to pay the favor back.
As she related, some people she dealt with before would just pick up the phone and ask favors without realizing that the relationship they have had was a bad one. As she shifted career from being a mentor capitalist to venture capitalist, her perspective towards leveraging and granting favors has definitely changed. It is understandable that she would always attend to the needs that will benefit, first and foremost, her company. But of course, this must not cause the breaking of connections she tried to build up through the years.
While she puts her company’s interests in the frontline, it will not be a threat if she would still concede to others requests, given that no clash of interests between their respective organizations. Since she has the faculties to connect other people to the other, I personally believe she could still play the role as avenue where entities with similar interests could meet. This way, she would still be able to maintain her network while focusing herself to the directions of her company’s interests.
Looking at her profile, it could be established that she is indeed a quite accomplished woman. As compared to her network, mine is still comparable to a portion of the web she created. Same with other newbies, I try to establish my very own network by grabbing the opportunity to brush shoulders with those who are already at the top — always basking on personal interests. For me, it is a lesson to imitate her ways on establishing and maintaining close associates. Her rule of thumb and attitude towards mingling with people are surely a hit.
She proves herself that one need not to reach out to those who are already in the position; rather networking may still be effective by socializing with driven and interesting people. Equally important in reaching one’s goal is the ability to consistently perform well. Lastly, to effectively manage my own links, I believe being able to identify my interests and the right people who could help me bring them out to reality and who I would be capable of helping back in return would be much of a help.