Dan Horwich, a ‘Pay It Forward’ executive and President and Executive Director of CAMP IT Conferences, shares his philosophy on building meaningful relationships. In this episode, Dan emphasizes the importance of leading with kindness and empathy, as well as making introductions for others without expecting anything in return. As an expert networker, he provides valuable insights and advice for transitioning veterans. Dan encourages listeners to focus on helping others and emphasizes the significance of surrounding themselves with a network of good people. Furthermore, he stresses the importance of approaching human interactions with a kind and gentle spirit, highlighting the positive impact it can have on both personal and professional relationships.
[03:36] Dan shares a powerful and personal story that influences his approach to networking. He recounts how his grandfather’s life is saved during the Holocaust through a compassionate act of networking. This experience deeply impacts Dan, leading him to prioritize gratitude and helping others. It reinforces his existing networking practices but also prompts him to move faster and consider how he can assist those he meets.
[08:05] Dan discusses the importance of relationship networking and serving others without expecting anything in return. He advises focusing on giving rather than getting and emphasizes the happiness and influence that come from helping others. He introduces a four-bucket rule for networking and encourages surrounding oneself with kind and coachable individuals. Dan emphasizes proactive networking and making quality introductions for others to build a strong network.
[12:10] In our discussion, Dan emphasizes the importance of giving as much as you receive in networking and mentorship. He acknowledges that not everyone may reciprocate, but they focus on appreciating the introductions they receive. By constantly making introductions, they build relationships and expand their network. Despite occasional frustration, joy and personal growth outweigh any negative feelings.
[14:11] Dan emphasizes the importance of attitude and emotional intelligence for successful tech leaders. He highlights resilience, humility, and a giver’s mindset as key qualities. Dan encourages building relationships and treating others with respect. He cautions against closed-mindedness and stresses the need to understand the business value of technology. Building rapport and trust with business leaders is essential in the tech industry.
[18:43] For Dan, around 10 to 20% of tech leaders truly excel in their roles, exhibiting qualities such as emotional intelligence, empathy, and open-mindedness. However, there is ample room for improvement and growth among the majority. Success in tech leadership is determined by factors like business partnerships, personal survival, and the esteem held by their team. It’s important to recognize that not everyone brings their best selves to work due to personal challenges.
[20:50] Dan highlights the importance of understanding between sell-side and buy-side attendees. He coaches sponsors to see attendees as humans first, considering their personal concerns and goals. By enabling and empowering others, meaningful relationships are formed. Dan advises attendees to recognize sellers as potential networking resources for career growth. Mutual sensitivity and respect foster successful interactions.
[23:56] During the discussion, Dan shared his approach to understand sellers and buyers’ needs.
[26:17] When asked what advice he would give to his 25-year-old self, Dan emphasizes the importance of surrounding oneself with good humans, making logical decisions, and focusing on substantive matters instead of superficial achievements. Dan highlights the significance of kindness and integrity in building successful and fulfilling relationships. He also shares stories of questionable advice he received, urging the importance of maintaining integrity even at the cost of personal gain.
[31:42] Dan discusses how his perspective on a good life has evolved over time. He emphasizes the importance of impacting others, enabling their success, and surrounding himself with good people. He contrasts the temporary happiness from material possessions with the lasting fulfillment that comes from helping others. According to him, “A good life involves achieving personal goals while prioritizing relationships, health, and gratitude.”
[35:26] Dan provides a challenge to listeners to help others amid tough times. He advises shifting focus from negativity to making introductions and checking in on people. By assisting positive individuals, one can find joy and opportunities. Dan encourages daily check-ins with two or three people, fostering a supportive network and improving personal circumstances.
[38:04] Closing quote: In the long run, the sharpest weapon of all is a kind and gentle spirit. — Anne Frank