I finally got to make it out to the SFN Hamilton chapter on Tuesday, August 26th! Somebody once commented that my night reference was a little out of wack so I figured adding the date couldn’t hurt for context. Anyway – I had fully planned to be there at 430 to help SFN Hamilton president Joanna Blackmore as an ambassador / front table person and wouldn’t you know traffic was horrendous and I arrived an hour late. The ever lovely Joanna Blackmore didn’t even blink. Not a reproach, not a mean girls stare down – nothing. Just open arms and so glad you could make it with one of her trademark makes you feel happy hugs.
Why do I open this way? Because it is due to the kindness of strangers that people are benefiting from the SFN Network. These “strangers” who have put time and energy in to creating a place and space where business folk can come, co-mingle and network. Why? Because SFN chapter presidents, at heart, enjoy helping others. Of course it’s not completely altruistic in that we may get business out of the situation but I know from my own perspective, I want to help others succeed as well. Based on what I know so far of Joanna, I would say the same of her.
I also met a lovely woman named Gloria Clark who sells Terra Teas, a line of organic teas and coffees, and was one of Joanna’s ambassadors that night. By the end of the night we were having a lovely chat and I mentioned, with no ulterior motive, that I needed to start working on getting some door prizes. Out of the goodness of her heart, to someone she had just met, she offered a door prize for the SFN Healthcare launch. How nice is that? Once again, the kindness of strangers astounds me. It will be a lucky person indeed who wins that door prize at my event. Thank you Gloria!
It was after the event that the catalyst for this post occurred. I won’t get in to the nitty gritty, as it’s not my story to share, but the principle behind SFN is simple: join MeetUp, come to the events, network, share your story and listen to others stories. No heavy pitching. No advertising. No marketing material. And last but not least – no poaching. It is very poor form to take advantage of the kindness of strangers by trying to entice members to another group in the area while you are attending an SFN event. It’s rude. It’s uncouth. It’s an abuse of the kindness of the very strangers allowing you the opportunity to network in the first place. In other words – don’t do it. We do see you. We don’t like it. We will call you on it. It makes everybody else uncomfortable and that is a big no-no. No SFN president wants their members to ever feel as though they have to avoid anyone at an event and if you are that person, we will ask you politely to leave to protect others.
I know that last paragraph might sound a bit heavy handed. But I also know that it needs to be said. Integrity and honesty are two things that I live by and when I hear about someone abusing people I consider friends, then those two very principles compel me to defend them. I have no doubt at all that the situation will be handled with professionalism and aplomb by Joanna and our illustrious founder James Burchill. Why? Because it is those very characteristics, along with integrity and honesty, that drove them to develop and grow the SFN model in the first place. Thank goodness for the kindness of strangers. I’m sure Blanche Dubois would agree.
If you are in healthcare, or know someone who is, and would like to join us on September 10th for the launch of SFN Healthcare Professionals, please visit: http://www.meetup.com/SFN-Health/. I promise it will be fun and the only drama will be how dramatically your network will grow!
Yours in health,