Lessons from the Desert — Networking and Frank Lloyd Wright

I recently attended the annual CPI meeting in Scottsdale, AZ. After one session ended, my husband and I toured Taliesin West, the winter home, studio and facility built by the renowned architect, Frank Lloyd Wright. The tour guide related a story about Mr. Wright that shows the importance of building and maintaining your network. After he became a successful architect early in his career, Mr. Wright’s practice declined, perhaps due to his scandalous personal life. It was said that he was generally written off and forgotten by the public and the profession. During this period he built Taliesin West and included in it elaborate facilities for entertaining his many acquaintances. His circle included Clair Booth Luce, who then was married to Henry Robinson Luce, the publisher of Time magazine. Ms. Luce attended many parties at Taliesin West. Her admiration of Mr. Wright and his work led her to persuade her husband to publish an 8-page story on Mr. Wright in the January 17, 1938 edition of Time and to put his picture on the cover.http://www.time.com/time/covers/0,16641,19380117,00.html.   The publicity resurrected Mr. Wright’s career. It might never have happened without the publication of the article and picture; and that surely wouldn’t have happened without the care and cultivation of his network. Having a network doesn’t mean you have to be a famous architect, build an architectural wonder in the desert, or hang out with the wives of magazine publishers. It does mean you  have to seek out, meet, establish and maintain connections with people. Be genuine, take an interest in people and work at it every day. You’ll be rewarded ten times over.

Gerriann Fagan
Career Partners International

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