networking for success
By pa360, Feb 9 2015 06:06AM
I remember watching an interview on the television a few years ago. The interview was with a sibling of a very famous sports personality. During the interview, the individual spoke painfully about the distance that had developed between him and his famous relative. Towards the end of the interview the sibling suggested that perhaps the reason for the 'distance' is because he "didn't measure up" to the high standards and lofty accomplishments of his celebrity relative.
As only one side of the story was presented, I do not know whether a failure to 'measure up' was indeed the real reason for the animosity between both siblings. But I never forgot that interview, nor the phrase "didn't measure up" and today it provides the inspiration for this blog.
The specific point I would like to make is that, no-one achieves success all by themselves. Yes, we have the primary role and responsibility for developing our talent and investing in our own capabilities, but no-one achieves success by themselves. Success depends on people around us. At key points in our lives others will act in our interest in a way that proves to be crucial or useful to our progress. It could be a creditor who forgives a debt or a friend who encourages us when we are at our lowest ebb. It could be an employer who sings our praises in spite of our obvious shortcomings or family members whose patience we stretch to near breaking point. For every success story there are numerous 'others' who are involved in making that success possible.
The reason why this is important is because in order to build a successful and sustainable personal economy, we need to build sustainable and successful networks as well. A strong network will comprise of people who can inspire, encourage, critique and challenge us. Others in our network may be influencers, able to connect us to new opportunities at key points in our development.
Our attitude to building networks is also important. Some, adopt a big picture approach and assiduously cultivate relationships in order to develop as wide a circle of opportunity as possible. Others adopt a 'shrink and grow' approach developing and abandoning networks in response to the needs and demands of the moment.
In my experience, the key to building and sustaining a successful network is to make the point of taking people with you or your journey to success. Taking people with you simply means recognising their contribution to your progress. This type of reciprocity is not only an astute investment in the growth of your personal economy, it also adds value to your brand.
As a friend of mine once commented: be good to people on your way up, because you never know when you might need them on your way down.