I am a big fan of the power lunch.
I am an ‘event junky.’ If I don’t go to at least two networking events per week, I feel like I am missing out. I love meeting new people–not for any particular business benefit I could possibly derive–but because I get a thrill out of learning about what people do, how they think, etc.
I always make a point to have a follow up lunch with my new contacts. I love lunch as much or more than I love networking events. At lunch you get to have your new contact all to yourself. Then if you are lucky, a first lunch may lead to a second, a third… at which point, I think it safe to say you have a new friend and ally.
Needless to say, I go to lunch a lot.
Every so often, especially on a Friday afternoon, when the waiter comes by to take our drink orders, I wonder whether it would be acceptable to have a glass of wine with my lunch.
About three years ago I had a first lunch date at Tir Na Nog. I was having a particularly horrible Friday at work. I went out on a limb and ordered a glass of wine at lunch. My lunch date was rather shocked. Luckily, my lunch date and I met up for subsequent lunch dates and became friends. Although my decision to have a glass of wine at lunch turned out to be ok, it must have made some kind of imnpression because Hope and I still talk about our first lunch date.
When is it ok to have an adult beverage at a power lunch? Obviously, if you are on an interview, it is probably not a good idea. And maybe if you are meeting with a more senior attorney or business person, you should not order a libation unless they do so first. If you are lunching peer to peer, maybe you can get a sense of how your lunch date will react if you make a little joke about how you wish it was already time for happy hour.