A close friend of mine recently told
me it was imperative I realized the people who are on my side as I endeavor to
achieve the goals I’ve set out for myself in my 5-year plan
(Yes my good
people, I have one of those. It entails a short list of things I, with God’s
grace in tow, hope to achieve within that time frame.). People, who
genuinely care about you, have your back even when you hit rock bottom. This
kind of made me think of networking. Relationships mean a lot if you’re looking
at getting to the top of your game in whatever field.
Today’s musing is based off of one of
my favorite reads Victor Cheng(..,and by extension Porter Gale). It has been my intention to share this with you
but I only remembered about it when my friend sat me down for that pep talk.
Also, the piece was 11pages long- had to scale it down to 3 with the points I
thought were most important! Enjoy!!
A lone ranger
mentality works fine in school, but as you get further into the real world,
relationships matter a great deal. In life, you need to know someone, who knows
someone not in the unconventional manipulative scheming all too common in ‘job
corridors’, government offices and the like but as a way to “build
relationships” by being yourself and being generous to others.
The quality of
your life (in all aspects – career, personal, financial, etc…) very much is correlated
with the relationships in your life. Both types of relationships (career and
personal) are PRICELESS. Building
relationships with others provides them with value. Value can be anything the
other person might find useful – giving useful advice, introducing them to
another person, helping them with their career, etc.
NETWORKING AS TRANSFORMATIONAL, NOT TRANSACTIONAL.
NOT be viewed as a series of transactions.
The old way to
network involved climbing a ladder for individual benefit. The past was about
competition, pursuit of materialism and “keeping up with the Joneses.”
today’s model, networking IS transformational or an inside game first.
What I mean is
that you first must identify any barriers (e.g. negative thinking, fear of
public speaking) standing in your way from connecting, and define your values,
interests and core purpose.
Once you’ve identified
any barriers, you can focus your efforts on meeting people that share your
passions, and your networking should feel conversational and not awkward or
on values and passions is not only more natural, but is also the basis for
building a strong network foundation, enabling you to reach a higher level of
success than you would on your own.
2. DEFINE YOUR
PASSIONS AND PURPOSE WITH THE FUNNEL TEST.
lucid and succinctly described visions are more likely to succeed than those
with unclear or highly complex visions. Some companies spend hundreds of
thousands of dollars defining their brand positioning, core values and vision.
Yet as individuals, we often don’t take the time to clearly articulate our own
passions or purpose.
Imagine that you
have five floors of elevator stops and you need to convince someone to hire you
while you ride up together. Or you are given three minutes on a stage in front
of your peers and you have to describe your personal mission.
What would you
say? How would you create a memorable connection? To help you define your
passions and purpose, I’ve created a simple test that I call "The Funnel
Step 1 is to define your three greatest
passions, or a succinct set of words that clearly define your core interests.
You can put a
high priority on any type of passion, from family to fitness or education to
The area where
your three passions overlap is your sweet spot. If you can find activities,
work, or relationships that combine two or more of your core passions, you are
likely to hit the jackpot and be more effective in and excited about your
actions and activities.
Step 2 is to define your desired tone.
How do you want
to present yourself to the world? What is your authentic voice? Are you quiet
and reserved? Witty? Bold? Irreverent?
Now fill the
space below your passion circles with a selected word for your tone. Like a
funnel, where the contents flow from top to bottom, envision all of your
actions being influenced by your tone. Remember, simple is good.
The last step of The Funnel Test is to define
your core purpose in twenty words or less.
What do you want
to accomplish in life? And work?
Write what is in
your gut, and look at the passion words in your Funnel Test. Your goal is to
write a phrase of fewer than twenty words that describes your purpose.
defined your passions and developed a focused purpose, your networking efforts
will be more effective and authentic. Use this test as a filter to help you
guide your activities and meetings.
3. Focus on “Give Give Get”
The last concept
I’d like to share is about the power of helping others i.e. “Give Give Get”-
put greater energy into giving than receiving.
I believe the key
to unlocking the hidden power of connections is helping others when you don’t
expect anything in return. A focus on giving can transform your emotional
state, improve your relationships, build your happiness quotient, and teach you
the importance of gratitude.
If you put giving
back and helping others at the center of your networking and relationship
building, you are likely to have more impactful and stronger relationships,
among other benefits. What you will find is that the giving will come back to
Remember to look
inside first, outside second. If you focus on your passions and reorganize your
networking around your values and beliefs, you will discover the kind of
lasting relationships, personal transformation, and, ultimately, tangible
wealth that are the foundation for happiness and success.
Help others, be
of service, live each day fully, and, remember,
approach to networking?