JLBC LEADING THROUGH CHALLENGES
JLBC Creating networks
As a leader, you will need to create, develop, and maintain networks of contacts within and far beyond your organization. Networks enable you to exchange information, share resources, gain referrals, leads, or recommendations, test ideas, build long-term relationships, and help others in return.
JLBC Reaping the rewards
Networks are your eyes and ears. They warn you about trends and developments in markets, signal opportunities, and threats, and help identify niches for you to exploit. So, the more comprehensive your network becomes, the more responsive you will be to market changes.
To network effectively on sites such as LinkedIn, start by filling out your entire profile (including a photo). Send personalized messages to make connections, then build relationships by sharing and writing content and commenting. Also, join relevant groups—or set up your own.
JLBC How to build an effective network
List all potentially valuable contacts and ask your team to do the same
Contributing to networks
Building effective networks can take a few months or a few years; maintaining them takes a lifetime. Digital communication tools, from social media sites such as LinkedIn to video calls and virtual networking events, now make that more accessible and global than
ever. But remember that networking is a two-way process: the more you give to others, the more you gain. People will quickly categorize you as a “taker.” if you only get in touch when you want something. Engage and offer help before you need it yourself. Introducing a contact with someone you think they should know, posting exciting information online, and making insightful comments about others’ posts are all excellent ways of being functional, sparking conversations, and building relationships.
Include former workplaces and colleagues and personal contacts of family and friends.