Creating your “kitchen cabinet” | Octavio Peralta

The term “kitchen cabinet” originated in politics and refers to a group of unofficial or private advisers to a political leader. It is currently used to describe the network of trusted friends and associates you turn to at any time for advice, guidance, and opportunities.

This was the premise of the “Creating a Kitchen Cabinet: Growing Your Network” webinar recently hosted by the Philippine Council of Associations and Association Leaders (PCAAE). Jackie Price Osafo, Executive Director of the Society of American Archivists, shared the findings of her session:

1. Why. There are three reasons why you need a network: as a relationship building tool, a resource, and professional development support. Whether you are in a situation where you have a question or a problem or an opportunity to move up the corporate ladder, your network certainly provides a much needed boost to stay ahead. However, Jackie advises that the network should be reciprocal, that is, it is a give and take relationship.

2. Who. Those who should be part of your network should include people: with whom you share experience or occupy the same positions; who, in your opinion, will help in your future position; or who you think can provide “push or pull”. Those who “push” your “cupboard drawer” are people who can give you a push when you need them, while those who “pull” are people who can frustrate or make it difficult for you. your job. However, you also need people who “push and pull” to learn valuable lessons and gain new experience.

3. How. When building your network, you need to have: an “elevator pitch”; goal or plan; assessment of your current network and gaps; the ability to listen and respect the experience of others; exchange of information and experience; and measuring your growth and development.

A good 30-second presentation should answer three questions: “Who am I?” “What am I doing?” and “What’s my question?” This will ensure a good conversation and connection with everyone you meet who you think would be a good addition to your network.

4. Where. These are places where you can build your network of contacts, such as at work, at professional and social events, and online, such as LinkedIn.

Jackie summarizes with the following tips: Always look after yourself. Stay Connected. Have a mutually beneficial relationship. Manage your brand, that is, your name and reputation. Being in someone else’s kitchen cabinet.

A kitchen cabinet is an open box with doors, drawers or shelves. What you place in these bays determines the type of network you want to build, which should be long-term, of mutual interest, and of benefit to everyone around you.

Octavio Peralta is currently the Executive Director of the UN Global Compact Network in the Philippines and the founder and voluntary CEO of the Philippine Council of Associations and Leaders of Associations, the “association of associations”. Email: