Creating Connections: Commentary from CEO, Drew Hudson
There is no doubt establishing a broad and engaged network of professional colleagues is a value add for any career. LinkedIn and its’ vast riches has proven this thesis time and again.
Genuine, success driving networking is organic. It goes beyond specific events. It goes beyond “friend requests” or LinkedIn Connections. It is a daily, if not hourly, activity. One that can be compared to karma. Think about that. Karma is defined as…”the sum of a person’s actions in this and previous states of existence, viewed as deciding their fate in future existences.” We certainly shouldn’t be kind because we expect something in return, however, engaging in the folks we meet is a lovely way to grow an organic network of valued colleagues with whom we can forge relationships that advance our mission of securing our “fate in future existences.” Those existences can be additional relationships, business deals, career opportunities, or service opportunities. Our “states of existence” can be related to career launches, career advancement, advancing deals, or seeking ways to serve our communities.
A great place to start your networking dialogue is by engaging in what drives the folks you meet. Understand what they do, what they like about it and how they think they are making a difference. Discover where they have been, where they are headed and what their goals are. Then note the conversations. Harness LinkedIn or other contact management tools to track your data—to build your “rolodex” as they said not too long ago. Referrals are the product of networking. Successful networking is a product of engagement. Keep in touch with folks. When you hear of things that may be of interest to them—reach out. Share information and foster these relationships. Don’t just reach out when you need something.
Paul Harris, the founder of Rotary International, established a world renowned service organization off of a great “Four Way Test”. This test consists of four questions: Is it the Truth? Is it fair to all concerned? Will it build goodwill and better friendships? Will it be beneficial to all concerned? These are quality moral beacons to guide our dialogue, proposals and relationships. Assuredly, launching your networking activities with conversations that consider these questions will yield a network of career long partnerships that creates mutual success for the folks you meet, the organizations you serve and the deals you create and close.
Let human engagement drive your network and to quote Dr. Suess’….”Oh the places you will go!”