In the previous 2 posts I described the importance of learning to delegate and prioritize. If you don’t decide to embrace either one of them, then at least consider making this one the one you commit to: networking. Yes, networking. Now, I don’t mean deciding whether you have your stuff in the cloud or have your hard-drive backed up even though that’s a good thing to do.
Networking is all about building relationships. Real relationships – not the smarmy ones where you are just meeting with someone to achieve a hidden agenda or because you want something. I mean relationships where you get to know the other person: their likes, dislikes, what they love to do, and what they hate to do.
The value of networking is something that is discussed throughout the various management and leadership tomes that line the bookshelves. My purpose here is not to recap all that those scholars have offered as to why this is good for your career. Instead I’m going to focus on why this is good for your heart.
Build Your Team of 100
When you see a well-functioning sports team, like the Green Bay Packers (had to slip that in since I’m required by law in Wisconsin to root for the home team) you see a collection of people who have learned to appreciate their collective strengths and weaknesses. Together they are a whole. Individually, none of them would be a match for the opponent but together they are formidable. They don’t go on the field with just their knowledge of the game and physical skill, they also bring passion – their heart – with them. Over the weeks, months, and even years playing with each other they have come to appreciate each person’s strengths and abilities, their likes and dislikes, what they love (winning) and what they hate (losing). Their hearts beat as one with the same rhythm – Win, Win, Win Together.
Having more success in 2015 requires that you build your team – a team of 100 in fact. And the best place to start is in your own organization. I’ve spent most of my corporate career working in organizations with 1000+ people. Think about it: if I get to really know 100 of those people that’s only 10% of all the people who come to work to help achieve the same thing I’m trying to, which is to have my Company win in the marketplace.
Once I have my team some amazing things begin to happen:
…When they are in a jam, I’ve got their back
…When I’m in a jam, they’ve got my back
…When they are having a great success, I’m their biggest fan
…When I’ve had a success, they are my biggest fans
…There are no fiefdoms to be defended, there is no blame game to be played
…Our hearts are all beating to the same rhythm – Win, Win, Win Together.
Commit to Play 60
Are you ready to play?
I promise you won’t need to don any special equipment or need to raise the level on your life insurance policy. All that is required is that you actually go to lunch a lot in the coming year. Twice a week to be exact. Every week schedule lunch with 2 different people in your organization. Be up front with the person you are inviting that you simply want to get to know them, that you are building your team of 100. The first couple of people you ask may look at you askance in the beginning because we’ve learned not to trust the absence of a hidden agenda. Be patient but persistent if you run into resistance.
Now here’s the key part. When you are at lunch talk to them like you would a friend. Don’t drill them or pull out a list of questions like it’s an interview. Focus on who they are – their likes, dislikes, what they are passionate about. In addition, be prepared to share something about yourself – a funny thing that happened to you, how you love to bowl every Thursday night with your pals. Anything that gives them a glimpse of who you are, what’s important to you. In other words, a peek at your heart.
If you keep at this consistently over the course of the year you will have your team of 100.
100 people who you know and who know you. Imagine any opponent trying to take you on. They don’t stand a chance.
Join the Conversation
Are you ready to commit to building your team?