In an age where everything moves so fast, ours has become a culture characterized by immediacy. We have essentially come to expect everything on demand because we can get almost anything on demand. We often carry these same expectations into our business dealings and demand immediacy there as well. If we join an organization like TMA, we expect our membership to lead immediately to a deal. Today, I want to step away from immediacy and talk about the TMA that is the building block to tomorrow.
Of course, we all seek professional connections that lead to work opportunities, but we must be realistic with our expectations. On day one of your TMA membership, it’s less about getting the deal and more about beginning a journey that will allow you to build something bigger. It is a journey where relationships are built, a personal brand is created, and deal opportunities eventually surface. This message can be missed, particularly by new members looking to make a quick score.
When I first joined TMA in the 1990s, my objective was to create fraternal connections with a diverse group of professionals who were part of the many segments of the restructuring profession. While I already knew many of the members of my first chapter, the Long Island Chapter, I saw joining TMA as an opportunity to expand my professional network beyond my existing contacts. I also sought to be an engaged volunteer and to take advantage of diverse networking and especially educational programs that exposed me to areas in the corporate restructuring world with which I was less familiar.
Importantly, while I wanted to create business opportunities, I knew I first had to build a network that would put some of the deepest professional resources available at my disposal. These things do not happen overnight. Business did come eventually but not at the inception of my involvement in TMA.
In the 15 years I was involved with TMA as a volunteer, I made it my personal mission to continue building my network by becoming more involved in different ways. After joining the Long Island Chapter, I subsequently became active in the TMA New York City, New Jersey, Philadelphia/Wilmington, and Chicago Chapters. I formed bonds and proved myself a leader through speaking opportunities, committee positions, and as a TMA Global trustee. I built a worldwide network through TMA that has served me well through thick and thin and continues to pay dividends.
This value proposition cannot be overstressed. I am a better professional because of the people, networking, and education I have encountered through TMA. I became more professionally confident because of my TMA mentors. I learned so much from so many because of TMA’s professional diversity and the bandwidth of resources that I knew were always available to me through TMA Global and all of our chapters.
When I became TMA’s CEO, I made it clear that I wanted every member to know that TMA Global is their home and that we will be their guide to many opportunities. It all starts on day one of your membership when you journey into an environment of professional diversity and excellence that is about much more than getting business. Along the way you will gain friendships, build trusted professional relationships, and, ultimately, become a better you.