Devora's on her way back to Queensland and Darwin
Multi-talented is a term often overused when describing a high-achiever but in the case of American consultancy expert and award-winning author Devora Zack, it's more of an understatement.
Based in Washington DC where she is the Chief Executive Officer of Only Connect Consulting, Devora earned international acclaim when she wrote Networking for People Who Hate Networking which spent time on the Amazon best-seller list in 2010.
She followed it up with the release last year of Managing for People Who Hate Managing.
Add to that her previous roles which include investigative journalist, actress, emergency counsellor and disc jockey and it's clear to see why Devora was a sell-out success when last toured Queensland for AIM in 2011.
She's heading back to do it all again with a full tour of Queensland and the Northern Territory in May but before she left she took part in an interview with eAgenda editor Grant Stockwell.
Q: Your career has been very diverse to say the least, what led you to your current roles?
I always wanted to be a writer, I have loved writing since I was a child. But I didn't know about keynote speakers and consultancy - I had never heard of them. Then I did an MBA while I was an actress and it all came together in a very special way so now I can be spontaneous and upbeat and keep people entertained. My presentations are very lively and uplifting and people learn a lot at them.
Q: What inspires you to write?
Many people write books because they want to speak, for me it was the opposite. I had been speaking and presenting as a leadership consultant for years. It was really people coming up to me after my presentations saying 'please write a book about this' so I thought I better write a book and that's where it started.
Q: What is the trick to be a great networker?
There are two tricks really. Focus and follow-up. The focus part is to focus on establishing deep, meaningful connections.
Go to fewer events and meet fewer people if you have to but focus on makng the most of those connections. And if you're not following up you're not really networking, you're just really chatting to people and getting nothing out of it.
Q: What is the trick to being a great manager?
Almost all managers didn't sign up to be managers, they signed up to pursue their passion, whether that's an engineer or an accountant or whatever. They are promoted to managers as a reward for doing a great job in their profession so they usually end up doing less of what they love in a role that is completely foreign to them.
Instead, the secret is to understand your natutal personality style, accept your new role and manage from your strengths - play to your strengths instead of being someone you're not. You have to also be very flexible to manage other people's styles and understand what they respond to best to get the best out of them.
Q: What are you most looking forward to about returning to Australia?
I am crazy about Australia and expecially Queensland and I can't wait to spend some time in Darwin. AIM is such a wonderful organisation to work with and I can't wait to get back and catch up with everyone.
I love Australian food and Australian wine. The reason I wrote the second book Managing for People Who Hate Managing was so I could come back and talk about it and work again with AIM.
2013 International Speaking Tour: Devora Zack
Thursday 16 May 2013
Gladstone: Monday 13 May 2013
Tuesday 14 May 2013
Rockhampton: Monday 13 May 2013
Wednesday 15 May 2013
Toowoomba: Wednesday 15 May 2013
Townsville: Tuesday 14 May 2013
View Devora Zack's 5 Tips to be an Effective Manager