The Value Beyond Rubies of a Network
“For wisdom is better than rubies; and all the things that may be desired are not to be compared to it” Proverbs 8:11
“If you want to go quickly, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” African Proverb
As a leader, have you ever considered the value of surrounding yourself with wisdom? Understanding you can’t be an expert in everything, it’s incredibly worthwhile to gather as much wisdom as you can around you: this means having a strong network of people supporting you. Whether you are in sales, a student or have any position within an organization, building and maintaining your network has become as important as a sunflower needing sun. It’s never too early to start planting seeds or too late to fertilize the soil.
In our challenging times, nothing is stagnant or a sure bet. This could mean your company, position, or income may be at risk at any time. Often a situation can fluctuate because of circumstances beyond your control and even beyond your vision. Some of those happen due to the simple understanding that we can’t control other people’s actions, only our own.
And, resources and contacts go beyond your career. It also means ways to get medical help or advice, transit and auto information, residential guidance, help with family, spiritual instruction and financial assistance. Also, can’t forget people who make you laugh, or uplift your spirits. It’s wise to have an axis of influence, a community you can count on to come through.
Never Too Early
When I run workshops at colleges and universities exploring different leadership styles, I make the time to speak with each student. After a workshop, I invite them to connect with me on linkedin to initialize or further grow their professional network. What’s interesting to see is which ones actually do, and to follow the career progression of the ones who do. Are you surprised to learn the students who accept the verbal invitation to initiate a dialog with me on LinkedIn progress much faster in their careers than their fellow classmates?
They are the ones who get internships, scholarships, research projects and part-time jobs while still in college. And since they’ve connected with me and can count on me as a resource, they come to me asking advice, contacts or confirmation that what they are doing is professional. When they do that, I can see their list of connections on LinkedIn has grown. A couple have even volunteered to make introductions for me.
A large contact list is also beneficial beyond sales from IT, to finance, to HR to operations or any other function. Speaking with professionals who’ve been with a company in a certain title for a while, many have continued to build their circle of connections, as a safety measure. Not only in case a potential employer change is desired or necessary but also for the chance of a potential job or career change. For instance, one former HR colleague was able to work with her long list of contacts when she left her company, to jump start her own consulting business. She’s even turning down work because she is so busy.
Giving and receiving referrals and recommendations are the basis of any career and personal life. When a person asks to make an introduction for you and then follows through, it is a gift. And when you make a thoughtful introduction for one of your contacts, you are giving them rubies. Who can you introduce today and who will you follow up with who has been introduced to you?
The world right now needs more leaders and the right leaders.
If you are in a position to support others or you are called to bring forth good change, encouragement, and growth – you want full access to your potential. Choose yourself first so that you may impact others to use their full capability.
If you would like to have a conversation on how you can do this, contact me: Susan@SusanGoldbergLeadership.com
We can grow together. Coaching is a give and receive process, which I recognize and appreciate with the Millennial generation.