Today I'm excited because The Corner On Character has been selected as a Finalist in the 2012 Really Good Education Blog Awards! (You might remember that I was a judge for the Elementary category.) I am at once honored and humbled to be among such GREAT company in this contest. Thank you to whoever sent that nomination my way. Voting starts today at 10:30 a.m. Eastern and ends Friday at noon, so feel free to click the Finalist Badge graphic on the right and cast your vote for The Corner in the "Other" category or any of the other AmAzInG Education Blog nominees. (You will have to vote for ONE blog in each category for your submission to go through.)
My brother Mark has given me some awesome books over the years, most of them signed by the author whom he's heard speak and managed to meet. The two most recent ones have really spoken to me. I love this first one because of its catchy, clever title: Networking Is A Contact Sport by Joe Sweeney. I've enjoyed learning more about networking, connecting with people, and building rewarding relationships through Mr. Sweeney's wisdom and wit.
The second book, It's Not Just Who You Know by Tommy Spaulding, has been another compelling read about relational competence. You can see here that Mark got the author to sign the book after hearing him speak in Milwaukee this spring. In section Three, entitled The Power of Netgiving, the author actually makes a distinction between networking (all about you) and netgiving (all about others): In itself, networking isn't bad. It's just not enough. With a paintbrush and a can of paint, you can create chaos or beauty; it all depends upon what's in your heart. The same is true of networking. When a heart centered on others drives your actions, networking is replaced by something far, far more powerful - Netgiving.
He goes on to explain the difference as he sees it in concrete, reader-friendly terms that just made sense to me. Throughout this masterpiece, Mr. Spaulding, founder and president of Spaulding Companies, addresses relationships using a building metaphor and talking his readers through the differences between first-floor friends and penthouse people. Having read Tommy Spaulding's story makes me want try his suggestions for securing lifelong friendships and then have lunch with him one day and share with him how he influenced me.
I have truly enjoyed this book, I thoroughly recommend it, and I thank my brother for picking up a personalized copy for me.