Using Robert Cialdini’s Five Weapons of Influence criteria, Bruce and Barry tell readers how they’ve managed to secure such a series of high powered, influential and well remunerated roles in companies like Qintex, HIH, AWB and OneTel, and how they became patrons of a variety of cultural institutions such as the Ballet and enjoy membership of some of the best Clubs in Australia.

WEAPON OF INFLUENCE: SOCIAL PROOF

Rule 7. The right associations

Forget joining the local Chamber of Commerce or industry association, they’re for the salesmen of this world. The associations you need to join are those that appear very exclusive but are just as cash starved as the rest of them (and so need you to join).

The Australian Davos Connection is a classic example. It has strong links with the World Economic Forum, and promotes itself as Australia’s premier leadership organisation. Certainly its Council and membership list is a who’s who of Australian business. And they run simply the best Australian networking event – the annual Hayman Island Leadership retreat which sees most of Australia’s political and industrial elite meet for two days of chit chat and card swapping.

Impossible to get in? No way. They’re so desperate for cash that for AUD$7,000 a year you get to become a full member and get automatically invited to all their ‘closed’ events to rub shoulders with the elite.

The Australia Israel Chamber of Commerce is another ‘must join’. While the AICC might be all about “improving and strengthening the connections between Israel and Australia”, it’s far better known for the top tier talent that attend its events and the associated networking

Many of Barry’s colleagues also speak of the Mason and Stonemason Fraternity as being a superb place for networking at the highest levels, but apparently some of their rituals can be a little odd.

The list goes on.

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Peter Fray
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