Network Like a Cat

catBigg success is life on your own terms. Our focus today is work, one of the five elements of bigg success.

You may have heard about this. As cat-lovers, we found it fascinating. Researchers have identified a special purr – they call it the “solicitation purr” – which cats use to get attention.



The researchers say the solicitation purr is a combination of a regular purr and a sound that resembles a crying baby. While cats purr with each other, it appears they really ramp up their solicitation purring when they communicate with us humans to get our attention.

Almost all the people who listened to cats purring identified the solicitation purr as more urgent. So we have trouble resisting it.

It made us think about networking. We’ll talk about the three networking cats:

The cat that meows

As soon as you meet them, whether in the real world or online, they pounce. They’re in your face making as much noise as they can. They want your attention and they want it now!


georgeI remember getting a friend request in Facebook. I accepted. The next thing I knew, my new friend sent me a message that said, “George, do you have any health problems?” It turns out he was involved with a business that sold a product to improve your health. But isn’t that a strange way to greet a new friend?



marylynnYet we see it all the time. I think it happens more with social networking. For some reason, it’s as if people don’t think they’re communicating with another person. They think they’re communicating with an object – a picture or a computer. But there’s a real person there.


Being too aggressive too quickly may occasionally produce results. But most of the time, we avoid these cats. If we do encounter them, we get away as quickly as we can.

The cat that purrs

These cats sit around purring, mostly keeping to themselves. They’re content to let people come to them. They don’t make an effort to meet new people or to extend their social circles.

Because they’re so content just living in their own world, these cats miss out on a lot of opportunities because they don’t expand their network or it expands very slowly.

The cat with the solicitation purr

These cats want attention but they’ve learned there is a better way to get it than meowing. They’ve also learned that their regular purr doesn’t get results either. So they’ve evolved by creating a new purr. It has a sense of urgency along with a sense of calm.

Think about attraction, not the law of attraction but what attracts one person to another. People aren’t attracted to people who seem desperate. This is true in romantic encounters, but it’s also the case for professional encounters.

However, people also aren’t attracted to people who seem aloof. Cats who just sit around purring may be perceived as snobbish.

So evolve. Be the cat with the solicitation purr. Exhibit calm and urgency at the same time and you’ll network your way to bigg success.


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Thanks so much for reading our post today. Please join us next time when we’ll talk about bigg water. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

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Crisis Creates Opportunity for Great Leaders

Recently, food-borne illness was found to have caused the death of eleven Canadians. After a thorough inspection, it was concluded that the problem originated in a plant operated by Maple Leaf Foods.



At a press conference, the President of Maple Leaf Foods, Michael McCain responded:

"Certainly knowing that there is a desire to assign blame, I want to reiterate that the buck stops right here. This week, it's our best efforts that failed, not the regulators or the Canadian food safety system. I emphasize: this is our accountability and it's ours to fix, which we are taking on fully. We have and we continue to improve on our action plans."

Honesty builds goodwill

It was so refreshing to see a leader step up and accept responsibility in an incredibly difficult situation. The report on the conference says you could see the pain in his face. He was completely honest. He took a hard stance and accepted full responsibility.

In today’s legal environment, it’s harder than ever for executives to accept this kind of responsibility. Lawyers often advise against it because it costs money. But it builds goodwill because people appreciate people who stand up and do what’s right without regard to the cost.

The 3 phases of a crisis

We found a great special report, Crisis – A Leadership Opportunity [pdf]. It discusses the three phases in the lifecycle of a crisis:

During this phase, complacency has set in. As problems boil to the surface, leaders often ignore them to avoid any conflict. This failure to respond early leads to the crisis.


Now the threat has been ascertained and the very existence of the organization may be threatened. Leaders direct all their energy to eliminate the immediate threat.

All possible attention has been given to crisis. There has been an urgency to get to the source and take corrective actions. With the crisis still at the top of everyone’s mind, now is the time to make the changes necessary to prevent the crisis from happening again. People are receptive and open.

However, many leaders fail to take advantage of this opportunity. Instead, they push the organization back to the status quo. The result? The crisis returns!

The report [pdf] goes on to discuss the seven essential success strategies for leaders in crisis. It also discusses two famous cases of leadership in crisis – Johnson & Johnson’s handling of the Tylenol poisonings and Rudy Giuliani’s response immediately after the events of September 11, 2001.

We highly recommend that you check out this fantastic resource. It will help you learn to adapt to little problems so they don’t become a major crisis. 


Here’s another great resource –
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Next time, we ask, “Are you solving the problem or the symptom?” Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

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Have A Problem? SOLVE IT!

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