Unintended Consequences

Networking Protocol: Unintended Consequences (sometime we just don’t see the impact of our actions).

On Saturday, December 26th, the CEO of a NYC based company sent me an email wondering if I knew of anyone that would be interested in a CFO position at his company. Not, me, My second thought, maybe I know people through the FENG (Financial Executives Networking Group) or UCLA Anderson (Business School) that could benefit from knowing about this position. I sent the CEO an email asking his permission to distribute the opportunity to a wider audience. The CEO responded, he would prefer that I not distribute the opportunity, as the current controller, whom he is trying to replace, is a member of the FENG. I responded that I understood, and wouldn’t distribute the opportunity.

Tuesday morning, December 29th, I got an ‘angry’ email, the CEO was upset, the position had appeared in the 12/28 FENG Newsletter. Had I gone ahead and distributed it? I assured the CEO, I hadn’t. I looked at the Newsletter, another UCLA Anderson Alumni / FENG member had distributed the opportunity w/o clearing the distribution through the CEO. I got another email 30 minutes later from the CEO, his Controller read the FENG posting and has resigned.

The CEO now has an even more urgent to fill need. Down the road, how likely is it that this CEO will distribute opportunities through FENG / UCLA Anderson? Networking is all about developing relationships with people, we miss an opportunity to develop these relationship by not asking first before distributing job opportunities. Asking first, would also have avoided creating a situation shutting down future opportunities.

Doug

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One Response

  1. Yikes! The other lesson is that the CEO should have understood the ease of e-mails being forwarded to a wider group. Confidentiality should have been announced upfront.

    Fortunately, human beings are quick to help. It was unfortunate in this case.

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