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Book review: Salt Lake author Judy Robinett's book tells how to add value, build a network and achieve goals

By Brigham Wilson

For the Deseret News

Published: Saturday, Aug. 9 2014 12:00 p.m. MDT

"HOW TO BE A POWER CONNECTOR: The 5+50+100 Rule for Turning Your Business Network into Profits," by Judy Robinett, McGraw Hill Education, $25, 257 pages (nf)

"How to Be a Power Connector: The 5+50+100 Rule for Turning Your Business Network into Profits" is a book for someone who wants to accomplish a goal but doesn't know the right people. Salt Lake author Judy Robinett explains how to cultivate a social network in order to have relationships to help accelerate success. The opportunities may arise surreptitiously, but being prepared takes time and effort — and she explains how in her book.

Robinett's key advice is to focus on three levels of connection, or power circles: five close connections that are contacted daily, 50 medium connections that are contacted weekly, and 100 far connections that are contacted monthly. New contacts are obtained by targeting, connecting and engaging. Robinett is driven by the belief that all people have talents they can give and problems they need help solving.

Adding value by providing information, opportunities, resources or connections is the biggest theme of the book — it is referenced more than 200 times. Robinett shows how it is the key and the glue to a strategic network.

Some of her advice is easy to implement immediately. For example, always reply to email within 24 hours. This shows respect and that you value the other person's time and effort. Robinett repeatedly emphasizes the importance of taking opportunities to help and be kind.

Robinett suggests two ways to measure your strategic network: 1. Do your phone calls get answered? And 2. How quickly do you get replies to your emails? Her rise from Idaho social worker to Salt Lake business leader with close connections to billionaires, sports stars, politicians and financiers is the frequently cited evidence in support of her method.

"How to Be a Power Connector" also includes a chapter especially for women that contains more focused directions.

Her suggestions are not about finding someone to hang out with on the weekend; they are about finding someone to make things happen. The book focuses on leveraging relationships instead of career competency. There is a risk that if someone is not influential, rich, well-connected or useful, the 155 person limit would suggest excluding them. Still, applying Robinett's principles judiciously should help people achieve great things.

There is no swearing, violence or sexual themes.

If you go ...

What: Judy Robinett book signing

When: Saturday, Aug. 23, 4 p.m.

Where: Barnes and Noble, McIntyre Center, 1104 E. 2100 South, Salt Lake City

Web: judyrobinett.com, barnesandnoble.com

Brigham Wilson works in Washington, D.C. Email: brighamtree@gmail.com

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