E54 - Networking matters, but your network matters more - Interview with Janine Garner

Collaboration and connection expert Janine Garner shares:

  • Why developing your network is essential for your marketing machine, your intelligence bank, and a board of advisors.
  • The biggest challenge people have when it comes to networking: not investing in core connections in the right way.
  • Where to start in developing a network that truly supports you.
  • The four key people you need in your network to help you become the person you want to be and create the results you want.
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Bonus Notes:

Janine Garner website

Introduction:

Janine is one of Australia's leading experts on networking, leadership, influence and collaboration.

Janine has worked with leadership and high potential teams of some of the world’s best brands including Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Ernst & Young, Westpac, CISCO, Scentre Group, CBRE, Clayton Utz, Ralph Lauren, Jaeger and Citizen Watches. She is the author of ‘It’s Who You Know’ (Wiley) and is a regular contributor to The Australian, CEO Magazine, Success Magazine and Sky Business.

Janine has an honorary doctorate in Science from Aston University (UK), is the winner of an International Stevie Award, was voted one of DARE Magazine’s Top 10 DARE Devil Women of 2013, one of Australia’s Most Inspiring Women (Madison Magazine), and nominated for Telstra Business Women Awards.

Janine is the Founder and CEO of the LBDGroup, a community of successful and results-oriented business women, thought leaders & entrepreneurs working collaboratively for continued change and success. Members are based in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne.

TRANSCRIPT:

Speaker 1:                        Welcome to the Zoe Routh Leadership Podcast, your source of strategies and insights to make you a better leader. Influence, improve, inspire.

Zoë Routh:                       Hi, it's Zoe, and who do we have on the show today, but none other than the amazing Janine Garner. She is one of the most extraordinary business people and women I've ever met. Her energy is fabulous and I'm delighted to bring her and her expertise on networking, leadership, influence, and collaboration to you today.

                                           So, Janine's background. She's worked with leadership and high teams with some of the world's biggest brands, including Hewlett-Packard, Ernst and Young, Westpac, CISCO, Scentre Group, CBRE, Clayton Utz, Ralph Lauren, Jaeger; hopefully, that's how you pronounce it, Citizen Watches.

                                           She's written two books, "It's Who You Know" and "From Me to We", and is regular contributor to The Australian, the CEO Magazine, Success Magazine, and Sky Business. Not only that, she has an honorary doctorate in Science from Aston University in UK, is the winner of an International Stevie Award, was voted one of DARE Magazine's top 10 DARE Devil Women of 2013, and one of the Most Inspiring Women of Madison Magazine.

                                           Phew. What a powerhouse woman. What I love about Janine, is that she embodies what she preaches. She is a woman of connection, collaboration, of humility, and of service. Welcome, Janine.

Janine Garner:                 Thank you for having me as well. It's wonderful to be here. It is wonderful for you to ... I think I'm more excited than you are to be truthful, but-

Zoë Routh:                       Anyways, it's great to have you here. First thing people are gonna notice is your crazy accent. How did you end up in Australia? And where did you come from?

Janine Garner:                 I'm originally from north of England. I was born in a little village outside of Leeds, and grew up pretty much working farmer's girl, in an environment where, to be honest, it was pretty much the norm to stay in that village and hopefully grow old in that village. But at the age of 18, I was first generation to leave home, go to uni. I went to university in the Midlands, in Birmingham, Aston University, and then after graduating and getting a Bachelor of Science degree, I moved to London. So I went back to Yorkshire.

                                           I moved way at the age of 18, ended up in London and that's where I started my corporate career, and then 17 years ago, I left London and arrived in Australia, and I've been in Australia ever since. So, yeah. I've got a little bit of a mixed bag of an accent, and yeah, it does get stronger at the Yorkshire. It gets stronger when I come across fellow Yorkshire people. I did gradually travel now, is what I like to tell people.

Zoë Routh:                       That's true. From London or from Yorkshire down to Australia, that is pretty south, and-

Janine Garner:                 It is. It is.

Zoë Routh:                       Like you, I'm imported to Australia as well, and I've been here just a little bit longer than you, but the accent, my accent, Canadian one, doesn't shift either. So there you have it. I have a little bit of empathy of what it means to pick up and move around the globe, and I love that this is it. This is your story, because it's also your story in how you built this whole concept of collaboration and networking, particularly your latest book, which I absolutely love and I've just ordered a whole set for my mastermind group. In terms of turning on its head, this whole concept of networking, and one of things that you say, is networking still matters but it's your network that matters more. So tell me about that. What is it about networking, developing network that is so important to you, especially since you arrived in Australia, I'm imagining with not much of a network?

Janine Garner:                 I arrived in Australia with a backpack. I left everything in England. I left a corporate job. I left where I was living, clothes, belongings, a car, and arrived in Australia with a backpack. And so, pretty much started from scratch and had to build my career all over again. I can honestly say is, probably one of the hardest things that I've done in terms of moving countries, I thought it was gonna be easier, assuming that you speak the same language, generally we look pretty similar, like we can fit in, but it's culturally one of the hardest things I've done, both from a business perspective and a personal perspective.

                                           And so when I look back, I initially started life in Melbourne and arrived in Sydney because we couldn't find work in Melbourne, and pretty much spent that first three months in Sydney, bunking down with people we'd met at packing. I thought we started my career doing any job for a senior leader in a professional services firm until I could find my dream job, and spent 17 years rebuilding that career.

                                           But what I learned through doing that, is this concepts of networking as we currently know it is just totally warped. It is a business card swapping fest of superficial connections where essentially, it's a transactional relationship, which is all around the transfer of information and hopefully doing business. And hence why, so many people just almost feel sick at the thought of networking. I don't think I've spoken anywhere, in the last six years, where I've mentioned the word networking and everybody has jumped off the seats and fists on the air going, "Yeah, I love it." I reckon the majority, I'd say, 95% of people go, "Ugh, I can't stand it. Vomit in my mouth. Get me out of here."

                                           But what's quite interesting it is, when I look at my professional career and then how I've built the business over the last six years, all my practice at last six years, and the relationships I've subsequently built, is this power of having very deep, diverse and connected relationships that will actually help build you and achieve your dreams. So that concept of networking matters but your network matters more, I think is more important than ever before. We're living in a really crazy world that is moving much quicker than the majority of us can keep up with, both in terms of the knowledge, the advancements through technology, and even changes in society.

                                           The reality is we cannot move quick enough on our own. You only have to look at status updates. Most people are saying, "I'm busy." It's just become the M.O. of most people's responses. Jobs are taken before they're being advertised. Collaborations are happening at the woodwork. We're sort of almost in shock of where they've come from. Let alone the fact that even now, I was speaking to someone this morning going, "Oh my God! Christmas is just around the corner." I'm like, "It's always just being around the corner as of this day." Time is nearing so quickly. And SO, we cannot move quick enough alone, nor can we find the answers to the problems alone, nor can we survive in this crazy world alone.

                                           And so the concept within 'It's Who You Know' is really about acknowledging that we still need to network for business. There's no doubt in my mind that we have to go out there and network, and build connections, and hopefully, through our conversations, convert those to sales. This is absolutely needed and that in my mind, is networking one on one. But what's missing for majority of people, is when I challenge them to imagine themselves being stacked bang in the middle of a tight connected group of people that are there to support them, who are those people?

                                           And this, to me, is the opportunity that exists for every single one of us, whether you're in a corporate organisation, in your own business, whether it be how you're managing your clients, this opportunity to have a connected network that I talk to around starting with four people and going up to 12 people, of people that are there for you, that will push you harder than you can ever go yourself, they see possibility in you, that open doors for you. They keep you solid and true, and on track, and they challenge your thinking and develop your mastery, that are absolutely there to see you succeed because they believe in you, that's where the opportunity exists. That is the concepts and the thinking that I talked to in the book 'It's Who You Know'.

Zoë Routh:                       I love this as a concept, and that you challenge people to think about this because I think it is a challenge. I was actually speaking at an EA summit yesterday, of all things- It's funny that you started off as an EA- on the concept of networking, and I was quoting you in your book, about this idea of being at the center of a network where you pull together people who are there to support you. And they kind of looked like deer in headlights like, "Uuh," because I started listing some of the archetypes that you list in your book, and which we'll touch on a second, and who had those archetypes in their network.

                                           Hardly, anybody had the key archetype. They did not have even just the four basic people around them supporting them. I think that is a radical concept for people to think about, "Whoa! How do I craft a support network? And am I worthy of that," because I think underlying some of the fear and concern around that is like, "That sounds selfish." So tell me about how you respond to that kind of resistance to this idea of being at the center, at the nexus of your network.

Janine Garner:                 Yeah. I mean, there's no doubt about it, but it's incredibly strategic and it's very personal. But at the end of the day, we are all faking it till we make it currently and pretending to be who we're not. There are too many people out there that are doing jobs that they dislike, that are unhappy with their career progress, and that are frustrated that they can't get where they want to get to. And it's because they haven't got a network around them. And as much as it is strategic in terms of who is there to support you, at the same time, it is incredibly amplified and leverageable in terms of the relationships that you build become very deep, very connected, where it is at absolute transfer of humanity, of dreams, of goals and successes, and there is this ongoing value exchange of information to help each other grow.

                                           So for me, it is absolutely a mindset shift and I have had the same thing. I train a lot of and above, and I don't think I've ever come across anybody that has the four quadrants that I talk about in the book of the promoter, the pit crew, the teacher, and the butt kicker. Very few people have all four. To me, this is the reason why so many of us are struggling and getting frustrated and stuck, in terms of both our personal career progress, but also the growth of our businesses. It starts essentially with you.

                                           I think that is why it's such a scary place for a lot of people, because I challenge people, what do you want? What do you want to do? If we are now, at this time of recording on X date, in 12 months time, what do you wanna achieve? What do you wanna achieve financially? What do you wanna achieve in your career, or your business? What do you wanna achieve with your family? What do you wanna achieve with your bucket list? What projects that matter to you, do you wanna actually happen over the next 12 months? And people go, "Oh my God. I haven't even thought of that."

                                           And so it actually starts with you nailing that. And then my question to people is, what are you great at? And again, is this acknowledgement and ownership of individual super powers and strengths, and at the same time, therefore, identifying your own weaknesses. And then the next question I ask is, "Okay. So who's gonna help you?" That is usually where people pause and stop and go, "Oh gosh! I know a lot of people but I'm not sure I can identify the specific people that are gonna help me get this." To me, this is the tipping point. It takes a hell of a lot of bravery, a hell of a lot of personal confidence, and a hell of a lot of personal conviction and commitment to your own personal goals and dreams.

                                           But when you own that, and when you then go out and connect with people that matter to you, that are able to share information that's gonna help you grow, and through developing that relationship, you're able to help them get better, when you build that relationship from a place of absolute care and compassion for somebody else's success before your own, it becomes incredibly powerful. I am a living and breathing example of what I talk about in the book, because essentially, I'm really connected in terms of the sheer amount of people I know from a business perspective, but I have a very tight, diverse network of 12 people that are really clear on what I'm trying to achieve over the next 12 months, and that I will have focus conversations with, to enable me to get there, and at the same time, I'm there to back them up.

                                           It is much easier to manage a small group of people, to give back to a smaller group of people, to amplify that relationship, to deepen that relationship and to ensure that it's not just ... it's not a case of give or take, but it's a case of mutual value exchange of give and take to ensure mutual success over that period of time. So I'm totally flipping people's brains.

Zoë Routh:                       Actually, it fits in well with the research that Adam Grant's done. I'm not sure if you've come across his book "Give and Take" actually. You've read it, haven't you?

Janine Garner:                 I have, yeah.

Zoë Routh:                       And that whole philosophy, your philosophy, marries well with his research, which says that the most successful people at work are givers, and yet it's a particular kind of giver. It's those who give generously themselves, and who are also ambitious for themselves. So they don't do give as a tit for tat thing, they give because they care about somebody else. And then, in a separate exchange, separate relationship even, they're also ambitious to getting support for themselves, which is your philosophy in action when it comes to building a network that you're at the center of it. It's a powerful way to be, and organisations benefit from that because witnessing acts of generosity, builds a sense of oxytocin, and a sense of trust and engagement in the workplace.

                                           I wanna actually talk about the brass tacks a little bit, because you mentioned them briefly, the four key archetypes in the book. Can we just run through each of those.

Janine Garner:                 Yeah, of course we can. The four quadrants, and where I suggest people start in terms of identifying your cohort first; the promoter, the pit crew, the teacher, and the butt kicker. Now, I'll give a very quick description of each of them. The promoter essentially, is there to help you become more than you are right now. They see possibility in you. They rave about you. They cheer lead you all the way. They promote you. They open doors for you. They are your walking billboards. You need this promote because when we're moving so quickly, when business are evolving at a crazy speed of change, we need to make sure that there are people out there that are raving about us and when we're not in the room, there are people out there that are opening doors for us and creating career growth opportunities or business opportunities for us.

                                           If you're in a business, we need to ensure that you got the promoter within the business, those making sure your profile is being lifted in the appropriate way. And I often say to people, for those of us with kids, we do this all the time for our children, and when we were children, our parents did it for us. So what happens when we grow up? Where does that cheerleader go? Where is that person, that just this guy, "You can be whatever you want to be. I think you're amazing. Let's do this."? So the promoter is essential.

                                           The second quadrant revolves around what I call the pit crew. And the pit crew essentially, is making sure you are safe, you're secure. They're keeping you in the present, making sure that you are not letting emotions get the better of you. So this is the person that, if you want to bounce back an e-mail because you're so angry, and you get pissed off with the feedback that you've got, and there's slamming on the keyboard, this is the person that would always go, "Hang on a second. Let's just think about this. Let's just check in because actually, that advice that you've got all their feedback, may actually be right."

                                           And the thing about the pit crew is they don't give a damn about your job title, or where you've been to school, who you work for, the car you drive, how much money you're earning. They just care about you. These are the people that will pick up a phone and go, "How are you today?" They're so important for us in this busy, busy, busy world where we have got burn out going through the roof. We've got depression going through the roof. We've got lack of sleep and insane fatigue going through the roof, marriage breakdown, et cetera, et cetera. We need the pit crew to make sure we are okay.

                                           The third quadrant, I call the teacher. The teacher essentially, is all about making sure you know more. We are living in a world where there is a hell of a lot of people think that their job title and their business card is all that matters. You see on LinkedIn every day. It's just boring and it's beige, and you need to stand out and be different. So the teacher is important for us because they're all about helping you become better. They're challenging your knowledge and your insight. They're teaching you know, so that you can start having that unique positioning, either in your market place, in the company you work within in the industry. They're about developing your thinking.

                                           A lot of us avoid the teacher because there are so many people out that just think they've got the qualification, always good, thank you very much, or they avoid the tension that exists with learning. Seth Godin wrote a brilliant blog about it recently. He's a marketeer at the U.S. He basically talked about the tension that exists with learning, whereby you go into a situation going, "I know everything. I'm okay." And then you can feel this tension as you're being challenged cerebrally in terms of some learning, and you know you got to push through it. But so many of us avoid pushing through that tension because it's much safer to stay exactly where we are. But if you can get through that tension, if you can listen to that teacher, if you can be guided through that learning, this is where the master kicks in and you start getting known for what it is that you stand for.

                                           And the fourth quadrant is the butt kicker. Very descriptive and that is exactly what they do. They are all about making sure you do more, that you deliver on your promises, that you are held accountable for your goals and dreams, that you follow through on what you've committed to. It's Incredible as I have many people I taught too, that I train in organisations that actual will say, "God, I don't have a butt kicker." Particularly, any matrix style organisations, or even people that are out there on their own, building their own practice, is having that person that you are accountable to on a regular basis to make sure that you get stuff done, that you don't follow the shiny stuff, that you keep focus on doing the right work, at the right time, to make sure you're making progress.

                                           So it's the promoter, that's all about helping you become more. The pit crew, that's all about you are caring more. The teacher that's all about you knowing more. And the butt kicker, that's all about you doing more.

Zoë Routh:                       Cool. I love that. As you going through them, I imagine myself being those people for other people, and how rewarding that is, to think of yourself in those roles for other people. I think that's a helpful realization, that it's actually a position of privilege to be somebody in support like that. So if you're asking somebody to do that for you, it's less about asking them for a favor, more about doing them a favor, because what a privilege it is to be a promoter for somebody, or to be their pit crew, and so on. I love how it's an invitation to build connection and deepen relationships.

                                           I have a question for you. I've got a client who's moving from Sydney to Bathurst. So she's leaving the big city. She's moving to a small country town. She doesn't have a network there. She's got maybe some family, but that's about it. And she's nervous because she doesn't have any contact. You've been there before. You've moved all the way around the world with nothing. What do you suggest to her in terms of, how does she start going? How does she make connections and get people into her four quadrants?

Janine Garner:                 Well, first of all, she's got to appreciate that is gonna require a bit of effort, unlike anything in life, a bit of work and commitment. And so, a bit like when I was recently mentoring a senior exec from an I.T. company. He chose redundancy. He'd been in this company for a long time and he was lie, "Oh my God, Janine. How I'm I gonna find another job?" And I went, "Well, first you'll need to make sure you got budget for lots of coffees, and we got to work at who you're gonna catch up with." And it's the same thing that whether you're moving country, city, jobs, location, you have to put in a bit of effort and hard work. So that's the first thing.

                                           The second thing is working out what she wants. So we can go out willy-nilly, meeting people. This is where that superficial connections happen, and we end up feeling drained and exhausted because we're these not getting anywhere. That requires a little bit of time to go, "Okay. What do I already have and what is actually missing." And then I say to people, it will be closer than you think. So you mentioned she had family?

Zoë Routh:                       Yeah.

Janine Garner:                 Reach out initially to your family. Do you know anyone who? Can you introduce me to? Get on to LinkedIn. So reach have to people you already know and ask for introductions. LinkedIn obviously is a classic where you can absolutely triangulate triage, and search there to find people. And then finally, work out where people that you're looking for hang out locally because they will be there. And then, once you've sorted ... It's almost like you do your discovery first, and then you got to go and take action and get out there.

                                           Now here's where again, it takes a bit of work, because let's imagine that you found somebody you wanna connect to, I say to people, show the respects for time and ask them one question, because they don't want you being. Well, if you know you wanna meet X person, Y person, why do you wanna meet them? Also, one question you wanna ask them, have you done your research? What is it about them that inspires you, that interests you, that is driving this desire to meet them, and get really clear on your one key question and then ask them that question.

                                           For example, I don't know what your client does, but let's imagine she wanted to connect with some senior leader in Bathurst or some senior business owner in Bathurst, getting contact and say, "Can I buy you a coffee and grab 15 minutes of your time, because I want to ask you what is the one thing you would recommend I do, being new to this community in terms of trying to connect with influential people in Bathurst, because you've done it and I want to learn from you. Because when you're clear on your question, people will answer or they will connect you in with somebody else who can answer that question better. The worst thing you can do is go, "Can I grab you a coffee? Can we meet for coffee?" It's like the biggest time waster.

                                           So if your client is about getting really clear on what it is that she's looking for in terms of help and support, who is currently missing from her network, and then I'd first of all reach out and be brave enough and courageous enough to ask the people already that she knows in Bathurst, "Can you introduce me to somebody? Can you connect me in with?" And then identify where to hang out and get really clear on who's gonna be there, what questions you want to ask. And it requires you to make the effort. It's not gonna come to you without putting that effort in.

                                           I come across too many people that dislike launching a website and then wondering why there's no traffic coming to it. You have to put in the effort to drive traffic, it's the same with this. Building a network that matters to you require commitment, it quires time, it requires energy, it requires you to give more than you can take initially, and it requires you to care about the people that you're meeting with. But if you put in that effort, it becomes ... Somebody said to me the other day, "I get it, Janine. It's not a short term gain. It's a long term gain." I said, "Yeah, absolutely," because it becomes one of the powerful assets within your arsenal that will allow you to achieve whatever you want to achieve.

Zoë Routh:                       That's fabulous advice and she'll get so much value out of your answer, so thank you for that. I've got a client of a different end of the spectrum. He's a high level CEO. He's grown the business by 60% over the last four years, like huge, huge growth. He actually does those roles; promoter, pit crew, butt kicker, and teacher ad nauseam for other people, and he has very little in his camp. So he's done more, he's drained. Does your advice vary at all, for him, apart from doing these exact same steps; determine what he wants and approach people etc. Is there anything to tweak for his particular situation?

Janine Garner:                 I mean, the steps are exactly the same but it's just where he will go and hang out maybe a little bit different, and then he may have to get a little bit more focused, one on one. The biggest thing for him is to understands ... And I will literally, when I was asked to go in to do some work for a client recently, see how the organisation rang me, "I've read your book, Janine. My organisation is about to get made ... All the part of my organisation's about to get made redundant. I'm worried about my senior leadership team because getting to everybody else and why that missiles and the same thing of we if they're giving to everybody else, and I'm worried that they're not gonna sort themselves out."

                                           The same thing of, if we're not careful as leaders we can give so much to other people, and so it doesn't surprise me that he's built his business by 60% in four years, because he's built an incredibly strong team. But at the same time, like that the analogy of attach the oxygen mask to yourself first before you help others, has to kick in. So at some point, if he does not surround himself with people that are smarter than him, that will challenge his thinking, that will show him different insight, where he's got that support network where he feels like he has this support of audience of people that get his challenges, then there comes a point where he gets stagnant in terms that growth.

                                           And so, the reason he needs a network is because he's time poor. The reason he needs a network is because he's drained, and he'll be drained physically and mentally. And so for me, if I was working with him, it would be much more tighter prep work, more one on one introductory work, sitting down and actually having a longshore coffee with some key people, and changing the level of conversation slightly. But the steps are the same; what do you want? Who do you already know? Have you reached out to them and asked for their help? Who is missing? Let's go and find them.

                                           I've got a client in the moment who is looking for the next CEO position. She's currently CFO. We were talking yesterday and I said to her, "Your plan now, is we've got to introduce you with the right level of CEOs. You got to stop having CFO conversations. We need to now start having CEO conversations, and source for the organisations you wanna work in."

                                           Another client, I shared the story in the book, was very well connected. She reached a senior position in a multinational property company, and she suddenly felt really disconnected and lonely. That was because she hadn't enabled or allowed her network to evolve with her. There comes a point for all of us, where we've got to acknowledge that our network is a living and breathing organism, that absolutely has to evolve with our dreams and our goals. There are too many people that I come across that stayed hanging out with the same people all the time.

                                           And if you're developing intellectually, or you're developing through your business, or you're developing within your organisation, you have to make sure that your networking evolves with you, that will constantly push and pull you, and challenge your thinking because that's how we get better, and it ensures that we move out of any group think or any state-based thinking. So you'll see that you're referring to, there's a time where he/she needs to absolutely focus on getting these core people around them, that are going to enable them to continue to scale their business at the rate that it's going at, because with that growth, comes different challenges.

                                           And often, if we don't find the people that have been through that same challenge, we can get stuck and it can fall apart. So it takes a level of ownership. It's a level of responsibility, that particularly at that level, they need to make sure they've got that support network, that trusted network around them, that can help them continue to provide the environment, the organisational growth, their future thinking, that will keep people within the organisation safe into the future.

Zoë Routh:                       I think that's a great point, is that it's a liability if the CEO doesn't have the right support around them for sure, because if they fall in a heap, the whole business falls in a heap. And so it actually becomes a compelling reason or obligation to build your network.

Janine Garner:                 Yeah.

Zoë Routh:                       The other great observation is that, yeah, we're growing and evolving, but the people we hang out with should grow and evolve. I think within that is always the question is, how do we let people go? So how do you do that? People who are no longer a fit for who you are, where you are up to. How do you handle that part?

Janine Garner:                 I often say to people, whatever you do, you can't go all Donald Trump on people and fight people. It's more about you being aware that managing, and building, and securing, and leveraging, and nurturing your network takes time and energy. But all of it comes back to you. Having a level of self-awareness, of are you giving value to others and are you gaining value from others. So there's a chapter in the book where I talk about shadow archetypes, and essentially these are the people that hold you back, that may steal your dreams and keep the small, and put you in boxes, and half of the time it's because they don't understand what it is that you want to do. And you have a choice.

                                           Your choice is you continue to invest in them, and bang your head against a brick wall, and get frustrated with them, or you have a choice to move away. It's up to you how you do it. It could be as simple as not seeing them as often as you normally would. It could be as simple as not taking phone calls. It could be as simple as you just naturally, the relationship falls apart and disappears as you build another. I think sometimes we can get so wrapped up in the black and white of a relationship, and it doesn't have to be like that. So if I look at my network and how it's evolved and changed over the 17 years of being in Australia, there are times you just move on. It's like with any friendship, you just move on, and you don't see as much of people.

                                           I think the bigger challenge is if you work with some of these people. I've had quite a few people I've spoken to recently, where they've literally gone, "Oh my gosh, Janine. That's my boss. How do I manage it when it's my boss?" And I go, "Well, you know it's the same thing really." In that, if you know that your boss is having that negative impact on you, that they're eating away your confidence and making you feel small, you feel like you're not getting anywhere, you still have a choice as to how you respond in that situation. And with awareness, comes incredible opportunity to put boundaries up and manage your energy.

                                           The person you go to for your pit crew, your teacher, your promoter, or your butt kicker, doesn't necessarily have to be your direct manager. It can be other people in the company. I think too many of us get so black and white, and rigid, and structured in our thinking, that we lose this whole concept of the fact that everything is a choice, and it all comes down to you. It all comes down to you owning your dreams, your goals, your successes, your failures, what it is that you're doing with your life, the decisions that you're making and equally the people that you are investing your precious time in to grow yourself and them at the same time.

                                           So I just let relationships go, and I just move on to be honest. I just honestly, every 12 months I look at my goals for the year, which is what I'm currently doing now. I map out my network according to those goals, and I go, "Where are my gaps?" And then I seek out those gaps, because if anybody over the last 12 months that has just caused me friction, in my head, I just know I'm not going to choose to spend a significant amount of time with them this year. I'm gonna replace that with people that are positive.

                                           You are, as Jim Rohn says, the average of the five people you surround yourself with. So it seems crazy to me to surround yourself with people that are gonna keep you small. Why not surround yourself with people that are big-pictured thinkers, cup half full thinkers, believers in possibility, people that will feel your confidence. To me, it's a no brainer.

Zoë Routh:                       I think that's a beautiful observation to make at the end, is that we can let people drain us, and I think far too many people stay in old relationships or friendships out of a sense of duty and obligation, and when we finally snip that out of our life, "Oh my God! The world is such a rosier, sunnier, happier place."

Janine Garner:                 Yeah.

Zoë Routh:                       I'm one for that. This is one of my Achilles heel, that sense of duty and obligation. I've stayed on in jobs and relationships far too long because I thought it was the right thing to do, and it was such the wrong thing to do because I was miserable. And if you're miserable, they're not doing so well either on the other end of it. So liberate each other.

Janine Garner:                 I think the reality is life is too short. I'm a big believer in seeing positivity in people, and trying to enjoy moments, and learn all the time. Anybody that knows me really well will tell, I cannot abide excuses, and I cannot abide drama, and I cannot abide gossip. And so as soon as that starts coming in, I will walk away from it, because I don't need negative energy in my world. But it comes also down to clients to be honest, where, we've all had them, or staff; clients are members of staff, where it becomes more of a backland or a fiction place. It's the ownership and bravery to go, "Enough. I can't do this anymore," whereas most people just put up with it. So it's ownership, it's total ownership in my mind.

Zoë Routh:                       Hmm. Beautiful. My last question for you is about next year, since you're doing some focus for that. You've been about collaboration. You've been about connection. What does next year have in store for you? What are you creating?

Janine Garner:                 Oh my goodness. I am really excited about next year. So I have my word for next year. Every year I set up a word and a focus for next year, and my word and focus for next year is brave heart. It's so exciting, and there's various plans and goals into that. There's more work I want to do with "It's Who You Know". I will be developing a public online program associated with that. I am expanding the IP at the moment because to me, the next level of this is how do you take this concept and bring it across to managing clients. Again, it's something I do naturally.

                                           When I look at my clients I've had many years, I have built those four people within those clients. How we use it internally to break down silos. There's a load of work yet still. I haven't finished, I'm not done at all with this "It's Who You Know" concept. And it's about going bigger, braver, and bolder and taking that aspect, global platform. Next year is a big one for me in terms of expanding the IP that I've got and increasingly the global reach with it.

Zoë Routh:                       That's fantastic. I get a little tear in my eye thinking about that because it's just the concept of consciously and deliberately creating organisations where people are out for each other and support each other, that will have a huge ripple effect of positivity around the world.

                                           Thank you so much for you and for the work that you're bringing to the world. Your energy is so infectious and it's very uplifting. So thank you so much for sharing, Janine. You've been amazing.

Janine Garner:                 My absolute pleasure. Thank you.