After I wrote ‘Does your network bind (and blind) you?‘ I came across this excellent book ‘Leadership Networking: Connect, Collaborate, Create’ by Curt Grayson and David Baldwin published by CCL Press back in 2007. The authors challenge the reader by asking if you are rating the strength of your network by the number of Facebook friends or LinkedIn connections you have. And, if you are, they suggest it’s time for a lesson in leadership networking.Grayson and Baldwin argue that ‘leadership networking’ is about developing and using your networks in ways that build relationships and strengthen alliances in service of your firm’s work and goals. A robust leadership network helps provide access to people, information and resources going beyond knowing or linking to lots of different people. It is about being able to use those connections wisely to solve problems and create opportunities.
Six rules for effective leadership networking are outlined; in summary they are: 1) Be sincere, 2) Share resources, 3) Use power thoughtfully, 4) Communicate skillfully, 5) Be a savvy negotiator and 6) Learn to manage conflict.
Finally, a strong leadership network serves you and your organisation well and also extends beyond the job. “If you have a great reputation within your network, you have the advantage of having a solid group of contacts who can be resources if you start a job search or look to extend your professional reach”.
Is your leadership network at full strength?