Defining a Network..
Defining a network...
Relationships are all there is. Everything in the universe only exists because it is in a relationship to everything else. Nothing exists in isolation. We have to stop pretending we are individuals that can go it alone.
- Margaret Wheatley
I recently found myself coming back to the above quote by Ms. Wheatley after being put through the paces of a recent consulting deal. I first came across this quote in one of the leading books on mentoring and career development, Never Eat Alone by Keith Ferrazzi.
In the current economic down turn and more importantly job market, I'm finding many of these basic principals have gone into the proverbial wastebasket. But this current every man for him-self attitude may not be the collective way to move forward.
There is an on going discussion from global CEO's expressing their concern for finding and retaining talent while building a deeper bench. But one reflects, if the basic principals of mentoring and network, and at a very basic level, relationships can no longer apply in current business environment. I would hope this not be the case, however if less of these practices and values are being revered today than how can we move forward as a successful global community?
In the world of consulting one often hears" my network is my value" but if we stop and think for a minute, is it the network; a collection of connections through digital rolodexes, or is it the relationships which are the true value? The true gift is not in the connection but in the relationship of truly understanding the other persons needs and connecting those with whom could benefit from one another, regardless of self-gain.
The themes of networking and mentoring can begin at any phase on ones career and it does not need to end once someone is defined as successful. One can feel successful with one year of professional experience or forty. Defining success comes from within and the hope is the definition will not be equated to ones salary or title but in how they share their relationships and what they cultivate professionally. Professionals truly utilize their network(their relationships) to enable others to connect, build and move forward. They remove the WIIFM (what's in it for me) and replace it with how can my experience assist in your reaching your professional goals.
Value the relationships not the network. Then the number will not matter but the fabric of the quilt will.
Mentor, build relationships not a network, lead with integrity, be transparent, never stop learning, look outside of your own personal gain, it's ok to redefine your mission, be a change agent for yourself and others, it will foster professional success. Start today...