Marvin “Coach” Powell answered a query I put out on HARO: Help a Reporter Out. Someone in his LinkedIn network read it and sent the query his way. (Networking helps you stay informed.)
What was my query?
I’m collaborating with Martin Brossman, “LinkedIn Networker Extraordinaire” on a networking book and am gathering “best” and “worst” networking stories.
Marvin was one of over a dozen people who responded. (Asking questions is a great way to invite participation and find people who are very active like you are.)
What story did he share? We won’t give the stories out yet, but here’s one of the principles he shared: “communicate character, not just competency.” I found that very valuable and succinct, reminding me that networking is about the whole of who I am meeting the whole of who you are.
That’s a picture of Marvin Powell with the love of his life, his wife.
Before I knew it, Coach Powell had sent out an email to his network with the header: “Anora McGaha – Coach Powell Community Networker of the Week.” Nothing like turning around and finding yourself in the spotlight. What’s more, several people contacted me to get linked up on LinkedIn, and one in particular is now a coaching client on blogging and authoring her book. (Doing a generous act for someone almost instantly puts you in a positive light.)
How could I not be curious about who this man was? So I emailed and asked to interview Coach Powell. What did I learn on the phone? Way more than I can write here, but I will try to convey the gist of it in two parts. The first, below in Coach Marvin’s words.
“I’m a US Navy brat. My dad was a career man so we moved every 2-3 years. Before he retired we lived in DC., Maryland , Virginia , Hawaii and California . I was blessed to see almost every State in the US from the back seat of a Pontiac Lemans as we drove through both the Northern and Southern track of the entire country. Making new friends quickly became my greatest skill!
I’ve had tremendous influences in my life starting with my grandfather Deacon Spious Paul Powell who forever remains a symbol of character and courage. He and I spent countless hours together during my youth and I still reflect on the living example that he provided me. From him I learned what commitment, dedication, and courage looked like. He didn’t just talk about living right, he did it everyday.
I’ve also lived in almost every geographic setting that America has to offer. Sometimes I was the suburban kid from Hawaii making friends with the rural kids of Southern Virginia . Other times I played the country cousin trying to forge his way within the inner city youth of DC. I learned that you get love by giving it and that you gain respect by earning it.
Of course my professors in America ’s great public schools, and in college as well, finished me off quite nicely. They always seemed to single me out and give me opportunities to excel. For that I’ll be forever grateful. To this day, I try to spend as much time as I can mentoring and encouraging others to find their potential and grow it.”
Coach Powell had more to say, some of it very surprising. Powell was a financial advisor for many years. And only a year ago, his wife opened his eyes to the fact that he was doing the work of “coaching” without calling it that. So she challenged him to be who he was as a coach and step up to the plate. Obviously he was a natural, because it worked. Coach Powell is very active, educating people about networking and growing their businesses. He calls himself a Small Business coach, specifically interested helping the backbone of America get stronger.
Part II Coming next week.