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LetsConnectBigThe past couple of weeks I have been doing a considerable amount of thinking around the value of networking. Last week I was in meetings with clients and we spoke extensively about the value of networking to the Extreme Leader and how life in the global economy has changed us. This week I am preparing for board meetings in Vienna, and guess what? Still thinking about networking and how it has changed as we now commonly work across boundaries and borders.

Here are some fundamental insights and observations:

  1. The “new” economy was yesterday. You must keep your playbook flexible because no one knows the audible that will be called next. Business cycles do exactly that – cycle, unpredictably. Your current teammates may or may not be on your team moving forward. If you need a job, money, advice, help, hope, or the means to make an important deal, there is only one definite way to succeed – through your extended network of friends and colleagues across boundaries and borders.
  2. Job security is also a relic of the past (similar to your throwback jersey) and your superior talent and experience will not save you in hard times. The day may come when the Head Coach tells you that you have been traded, or worse, released as a free agent!  Tough day…guaranteed.  However, if that day should come, having a strong network to fall back on can make your life a whole lot easier – a few phone calls and you could be walking onto the playing field with a whole new Extreme Team.
  3. There is no need to even the scoreboard when contemplating your network. Networking is not about what someone else can do for you, but really about how you can serve your extended team. The bottom line: It is far better to give than to receive – NEVER keep score and NEVER deny a potentially game altering assist. If your interactions are ruled by generosity, the rewards will follow.
  4. Business is a fluid, competitive playing field. Yesterday’s team-mate is tomorrow’s competitor; tomorrow’s competitor may well be your team’s owner next season. Building a strong network outside of the impermeable walls of your organization is vital. Take the time, expand your horizons, and build your network from every conceivable direction – it is a critical part of your flexible play book.
  5. You are brand “YOU” – if you are not networking, you can bet no one knows you. No more are you the sum of your organizations brand, where your value as a member of the team was linked to your loyalty and seniority. Professional sports teams use branding to grow strong, enduring relationships with fans… not to mention to generate revenue. In today’s fluid  playing field, you need to do the same with your network. Your relationships and your reputation are the most explicit illustrations of who you are and what you have to offer as an extreme player on the field. If no one knows what you bring to the game, you can not be mobilized as a game-changing contributor.
  6. Contribute continually – it is like (legal) steroids for networks. The more you give your time, money, and expertise (with no stipulations or reservations) to your network, the more opportunity you have to be recognized as the MVP you are.

The greatest way you can repay your mentors, coaches and other valuable teammates in your network is to continue the tradition of giving to your extended network and to continue to expand your network – it is a legacy that will continue to give and grow, and may eventually provide you with a place in the elusive Extreme Leader Hall of Fame.

Challenge: What are YOU doing to initiate an Extreme Network this week?

Please engage the discussion and let us know how extended networking has impacted your career. Feel free to contact me at Sheri.Mackey@LuminosityGlobal.com, by visiting my blog at Leadership Across Boundaries & Borders, or by stopping by our website at Luminosity Global Consulting Group .

 

Innovation.   Integration.   Motivation.

Three simple words… however, implementation is extremely complex and rarely executed.

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In today’s challenging environment, leadership has never been more complex.  As leaders, we are the Commanders of our troops and have a responsibility to ensure we are consistently pushing forward to ensure victory. While the obvious route is to cut costs, limit availability of resources, manage cash efficiently and hold down the fort until reinforcements arrive – this is merely defensive maneuvering.  It is absolutely essential that we, as leaders, recognize that we cannot win the war of sustainable competitive advantage without going on the offensive to courageously engage people as a competitive weapon to ensure we are victorious. Continue Reading…

Over the past several weeks, I have communicated to you what I believe are some of the most challenging aspects of leadership today.  These are the facets of business, that because we do not do them well, we repeatedly see decreased motivation and loyalty, less than competent leaders and, ultimately, poor business results.  I began to think seriously about these challenges long ago – perhaps fifteen years ago!  For twenty years, I was a leader in global business and now, two decades later, I am still hearing of the exact same challenges from my clients as an Executive Coach, International Speaker and Author. Do you think we have a problem?

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 Over the past several weeks, I have communicated to you what I believe are some of the most challenging aspects of leadership today.  These are the facets of business, that because we do not do them well, we repeatedly see decreased motivation and loyalty, less than competent leaders and, ultimately, poor business results.  I began to think seriously about these challenges long ago – perhaps fifteen years ago!  For twenty years, I was a leader in global business and now, two decades later, I am still hearing of the exact same challenges from my clients as an Executive Coach, International Speaker and Author. Do you think we have a problem?

Continue Reading…

At The Root Of It All

October 29, 2013 — 2 Comments

Here is an under-recognized, under-utilized truth:

PEOPLE make the company, the company does not make the people. 

Often leaders are preoccupied with who they are going to hire.  Agreed – hiring is a critically important decision.  Who you hire, as a leader, will ultimately determine your level of success… or will it?  It seems logical enough. After all, if you hire great people you’re laying the foundation for building great teams, units, and organizations… as well as great overall business results, right?

At The Root Of It All

On the surface, you are absolutely right. However, if you dig down deep to the root of many organizational issues, you find a much darker problem: “A” Players are hired for their talent, innovation and potential to take the organization to new heights, and then they are treated no different than the “B” and “C” Players in the organization that make no real day to day impact. The reality is that without great people that make real impact, you cannot sustainably build great products or provide great services. Continue Reading…

Gifts: Taking Time To Reflect

December 20, 2012 — 1 Comment

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Knowledge and experience are gifts.

Have you ever stopped to think about what you have been given and how you can make the best use of it?  We acquire knowledge and experience on a daily basis as we go through life, but I have met very few people (and I have a very large network on a worldwide basis) that actually leverage what they know. Whether it’s a natural talent or acquired knowledge, very few of us actually take the time to stop and consider how we can best use the “Gifts” we have been given.

Organizations realize how important it is to “know what they know” and consistently try to maximize their collective intelligence – shouldn’t you? In a world where the only certainty is uncertainty, your only real source of sustainable competitive advantage is your own knowledge and experience – and how you leverage them. Your success in this increasingly competitive world depends wholly on how you qualitatively and effectively manage those gifts.

You probably don’t consistently think about all the knowledge you have gained through the years, but as the holidays are upon us, perhaps it is a good time to pause and reflect on what you do actually know…

You have knowledge and experience that is very specific and unique to you. Despite the vast amount of information you carry around in your head,  you most likely don’t stop to actually think back over what you have done in the past and consider how you can convert it into useful knowledge for today. Reflecting back over all you have accomplished over the years will prepare you for that which you are not even yet aware of.

This holiday season, I would like to challenge you to…

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 This week, I would like to take the opportunity to ask for your help. I always love the lively discussions and insightful questions that emerge from the different leadership challenges we cover, but this week I would especially appreciate your insights and opinions.

Continue Reading…