ProWIN’s July Virtual Luncheon Synopsis – Hard Workers Work Hard and Networkers Move Up with Crystal Khalil


During today’s webinar, our featured speaker, Crystal Khalil, Chief Servant for Crystal Khalil & Associates and The Khalil Experience, explained why the most successful people in the world are also the best networkers.  She discussed the importance of networking to move past stuck, propelling your career forward ten times faster, multiplying your income, and achieving the success you have worked so hard for.

Breakout Room Topic

The breakout room prompt was, “What have the world events of 2020 taught you about networking?”  After breakouts, in the main room Crystal noted her perspectives:

  • 2020 has taught us that networking is so very important
  • “Rigidity breaks.” We must learn to pivot.
  • The world is small and we’re able to connect through this virtual environment from anywhere.
  • Pre-COVID, Crystal came into 2020 saying it was going to be the year of illumination, moving into executive coaching. The year has proven true more than she imagined.  Now she says, illumination and collectivism bring on brilliance.

Her Story

Crystal shared key points of her story, starting with her parents teaching her that sweat, determination, and hard work were paramount.  For instance,

  • Ethyl Pearl, Crystal’s mom, always told her, “Work twice as hard to earn half of what your competition is going to be given.”
  • And her dad instilled that she should put into practice good, hardworking ethics and extra work.
  • And they said that sometimes, the color of her skin and gender would work against her.

Her parents didn’t know about networking, only hard work.  So that’s what she did … she worked super hard.   She moved to Atlanta, applied those hard-work ethics, graduated with honors, and was excited to go into the world.  Her goal at the time was to earn her age!  😊  At 21, make $21,000.

On her first job, felt so alone!  She was the first African American to work in the office setting; there were African Americans in the manufacturing roles, but not in the office.  Crystal remembers wondering if anyone would think she brought value to the table.  So she worked hard!  She made the right connections.  She was knocking it out of the park!  But … she still wasn’t getting promoted, even though her colleagues were moving up.  She went back to school for a master’s degree, and even still didn’t get promoted, though some colleagues were promoted without even a college degree.

Year 8 … she still not been tapped on the shoulder for promotion.  Crystal went to her manager who confirmed that she was the hardest worker, but that’s all she would ever be … until she learned how to network.  People promote others they know, like, and trust.  She hadn’t known that before.  She was ticked!

Crystal realized that at that organization, her “brand” was already engrained; they knew her to be a certain way.  So she wasn’t able to change the perception.  She had to leave that employer in order to be seen differently.  Though all of that, her mantra developed:  “Hard workers work hard, and networkers move up!”


Crystal shared that three key factors affect your ability to grow:  Performance, Image, Exposure.

Of the three, 60% of your PIE needs to be exposure.  You can have the best products and services in the world, but if no one knows about it, how will you ever expand your business or get the next opportunity?

Crystal started getting involved in Porsche and making connections … connections with a variety of colleagues; connections in the community; connections cross-departmentally.  She also realized that service – those community connections and volunteering in the organization – were key in gaining exposure.

She encouraged us to draw our own PIE.  Look at what the % is in each of the three areas.  Then ask yourself what are some things you can work on to increase in the Exposure category?

Caution … this PIE is very delicate.  You can be over- or under-exposed in an area.  For instance, some people talk a good game, but don’t back it up.  Be authentic.  And realize that the PIE is a delicate balance.

The Cycle of Growth

Crystal then shared her version of the cycle of growth, how to capitalize on your P.I.E.

The starting point is your comfort zone:  When you’re living according to your belief system, you’re very comfortable.  If you’re comfortable being a hard worker, you’re comfortable, but it’s really not comfortable.

Tentacles:  Things that have helped form your belief system … colleagues, religion, family, friends. We tend to surround ourselves of people that are like ourselves.

Actions of being the comfort zone:  You’re not growing or changing.  When something new comes in – like COVID – things are different.  What you think is not matching what you believe, and it’s uncomfortable.  When what you believe and think are different, we start to self-sabotage.  And the tentacles, they also (unknowingly) help in the sabotage, because they have a similar belief system.  These are limiting belief systems.

But a key point to realize is that when you go against your limiting belief systems, you can learn so much and change. And have so many new opportunities.

So then you have a new idea … you pivot … you change … your start to think differently b/c you start to gain new experiences.  Now your belief systems start to change.  But then you run into the Terror Barrier.  You feel like you’re walking the tight rope and there’s no net; you don’t know the answers; you don’t know how you’re going to get it done; etc.  In that moment, realize that the difference between successful and unsuccessful people is that successful people continue to push forward and take action, even when they’re afraid.  Unsuccessful people run back to the comfort zone because they’re afraid.  How many ideas have you let get away because you self-sabotage in the Terror Barrier and go into the cycle of failure?

The Y in the formula becomes the new X.  You’ve now changed their belief system of what’s possible.  Your new standard becomes your new comfort zone.  And in order to go to the next level, you have to start all over again.

Where Do Others See You?

Then Crystal shared a story about her decision to stay at Coca-Cola vs. moving back to Porsche.  Through a series of negotiations, her division head shared this graph with her and that she was a Star Performer.

No one had ever shared this concept with her or where they saw her as being a star performer.  The lesson is that lots of times people don’t know where they stand.  Tell them!

Leadership + mastery of the PIE are what determines where you are on the performance grid.  When you master leadership and PIE, you start to get taps on the shoulder for opportunities.


Crystal concluded her presentation with this:

  • This year 2020 has brought about so many tensions and division. This is our opportunity to shine our lights, work together, and provide hope in the world, to our personal brands, our corporate brands, and our businesses.
  • What are you doing to shine your light in the world, with no expectation for anything in return? Those are the things that are illuminating your brand and will take you to the next level.


  • Should you let your employees know where they are on the grid? Yes!  As a leader, we should be serving the people and helping them to understand how to get to the next level, if they want that.  You may have employees who don’t know what hard work isn’t enough.
  • When you were first starting out, if you had a mentor or a coach, would that have made a difference to you? Yes!  Mentoring, sponsoring, helping people understand exposure and image, etc. are all important.  We need mentorships and sponsorships to bridge the gaps.


Crystal has a book, Hard Workers Work Hard and Networkers Move Up, available on Amazon, yet the ladies expressed wanting autographed copies!  Crystal will work with Erin and others to figure out how to make that work.

Crystal is hosting, an amazing event for 10,000 young women of color to encourage them and pair them with mentors.  They’re looking for mentors, so if you’re interested, go to the Contact Us section on the website and let them know.


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