I’m a professional connector.
For the last seven years, I’ve run a one-man consultancy, connecting a very specific breed of CEOs with folks who can help them and their companies — subject matter experts, creative contractors, advisors.
I didn’t come up with the idea to hang out my shingle as a professional connector. Luckily for me, Phil Caravaggio, the CEO of Precision Nutrition, did. He’d read a comment I’d left on a tech blog and emailed me out of the blue to ask if I’d make some connections for him.
The author of the tech blog post I’d commented on was himself a CEO — of a software company — and he was trying to crowdsource a solution to a thorny office architectural acoustics problem.
I grew up as a musician and knew a little bit about acoustics — just enough that I could tell his audience wasn’t going to provide him with the best solution. They were doing their darnedest to help, but this particular problem clearly needed a bonafide expert in architectural acoustics. I said as much in my blog comment. Then I made the auspicious mistake of waxing phillosophical about how “the solution to every problem is a person and that it rarely makes as much sense to directly seek a solution as it does to identify someone who’s successfully solved that problem over and over again.”
The next thing I know, I’m on the phone with Phil, talking about a thorny software management problem in need of a solution. Being a famously capricious person — right after that call — I decided to quit my current gig and hang out my shingle as a professional connector.
Best ill-considered career decision I’ve ever made.
A couple of years back, I found him a filmmaking team that could capture some of his ideas about leadership. An amazing guy.
Whether we should have a conversation.
If you’re a CEO of a company with at least 50 full-time employees and have the Myers-Briggs type ENFP, it probably makes sense for us to talk. I’ve been doing this for a long time now, and not a single client has fallen outside this very rare profile.
Why ENFP CEOs?
I don’t really know. But here’s my working theory…
ENFP CEOs are disinterested in managing details. They don’t like hierarchical power structures. They’re sincerely empathetic and eager to develop humane friendships with their employees and collaborators. Business, to them, isn’t about making money. It’s about creating something of meaning.
So when they’re faced with any business problem, their instinct isn’t to fix it themselves. That would take away from their focus on the mission of the company. They want to be able to delegate the solving of the problem to someone totally trustworthy. And they’d rather not spend the time and energy to find the person to delegate it to. Essentially, they want to delegate the delegating.
One important note.
I’m not a headhunter. I don’t find full-time employees. I find outside subject matter experts, creative contractors, and advisors, who come in to address a particular problem.