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As those who have been reading this blog for a while know, my passion is global business. I love to travel and interact with different people from different places.  Everywhere I go (and I have lived, worked or traveled to over 70 countries), I truly enjoy observing distinct cultures and taking away lessons learned from each place and every culture I engage with.  In

Vienna

fact, a good deal of my life’s work is based on this very concept.

This summer, while attending Board Meetings in Vienna, I had the privilege of engaging with several colleagues – global executives and academic experts – to discuss some rather interesting views relating to the differences in business perspectives between Eastern Europe and the rest of the world.  It became interesting as the various views on doing business in different regions shifted… but today, Vienna:

Vienna is a beautiful city filled with exquisite buildings, powerful opera halls, sophisticated clothing and incredible art. The Viennese people themselves, without a doubt, embody “Culture” with a Capital C. From high art to street art, from music to theater, dance to interpretive movement, architecture to fashion – it’s all there…and it’s simply a way of life.

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For better or worse… we are all extensions of the networks we have built – or the lack thereof. Those who are devoted to the intensive cultivation of the vine will prosper and grow, while those who do not, well, you can guess the outcome…

Slide1Ask any senior executive (or successful salesperson) which single skill has helped them to accelerate their career – an overwhelming majority will respond with one simple word… Networking.

We all know what makes the corporate world continue to expand and grow. It’s a giant social vine, with people dependent upon one another for success. Whether we like it (or care to acknowledge it) or not – we rely upon one another… very rarely solely responsible for our own achievements without the support and help of others.

That in mind, the single greatest skill you can develop is dynamic interdependence, which equates to NETWORKING. This is the most powerful marketing tactic you can employ to accelerate and sustain your own success! Few things will help you grow faster than a creating a strong network.

Dynamic Interdependence is about meeting people, developing contacts and exchanging information. It is about bearing fruit… and pruning, as necessary. When cultivating vines, pruning is used to selectively remove unsuitable or extraneous shoots in your network, retaining the strong branches that are likely to bear fruit. This serves three functions: 1) to cultivate only high potential relationships for the current season of your career 2) to produce high potential contacts from which sustainable fruit can be selected for coming seasons and 3) to remove those shoots that will not grow into a valuable part of your network. You are a product of those you surround yourself with – It’s critical that you are prepared to nurture those high potential shoots, while at the same time willing to cut off those shoots you observe bearing no fruit – or worse, consistently producing bad fruit!

On the positive side, meeting and networking with the right people can lead to untold opportunities… developing a network of dynamic interdependence translates into shared experiences, best-practices, and knowledge… It culminates with shared professional development for everyone within the network! The reality is that you will not bear fruit yourself unless you remain tightly connected to the vine. The vine, your network, is the source and sustenance of your professional life – each and every shoot of your network relies on the vine in a dynamically interdependent way to survive and bear fruit.

Your pruning process will ultimately help you to bear more fruit. If there is no fruit on your vine, if there is no genuine connection points, you are in danger of falling off the vine. If you isolate yourself, you isolate your likelihood to succeed at the same time. Building a reliable network will increase your connectivity, your knowledge, your visibility, and most of all…your chances of success. Networking is about self-confidence, self-advocacy, and perhaps, self-discovery.

The old saying, “it isn’t what you know, but who you know” rings true. Statistics show that a staggering 70% of jobs are obtained through networking… Some believe that in this unstable economic climate, this statistic is considerably higher.  I see it over and over again: Many senior level individuals go far, but eventually find themselves at a loss because they just haven’t built the network they need to take them from being a respected professional… to recognized expert… to a formal leader … to a member of a Corporate or Not For Profit Board of Directors.

They have hit the proverbial “Bedrock” – their roots have stopped growing, their vine has stopped expanding… Why? Primarily because they failed to build a sustainable network – both inside of and outside of the organization!

Don’t be fooled – THE VINE IS CRITICAL TO YOUR SUCCESS!

Building a Network of Dynamic Interdependence provides the most productive, most proficient and most enduring tactic to build professional relationships. To succeed you need to continually connect with new people, cultivate emerging relationships and leverage your network.

Final Advice:

There are many “vines” out there…

  1. You will get out of your network only what you put into it. If you attend events and meetings on a passive level, at best your network will become a novel social forum. You risk losing the fundamental reasons why you should seek to extend your vine in the first place.
  2. Dynamic Interdependence is not about belonging to a formal group — it’s critical to network both within your work environment and outside of it (for obvious reasons).
  3. Finally, do not just hunker down and do good work and wait for the world to stop and notice (as most people do) – it just won’t happen!

The truth is, you make your own choices. As a successful businessperson, will you choose to make your way alone or seek Dynamic Interdependence?

How Will You Focus  On Extending Your Vine?

Please engage the discussion and let us know how networking has helped you to exceed your potential. 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 .

 

An Attitude Of Gratitude

November 22, 2016 — Leave a comment

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Thanksgiving was established as an American national holiday in 1942 by President Roosevelt, however “thankfulness” is by no means exclusive to America.  Thanksgiving was (and is) meant as an opportunity for everyone to reflect on and appreciate success and the overcoming of adversity, in addition to the religious connotations. The idea was that success should not be taken for granted and that it is important to actually set aside time, officially and unofficially, to appreciate those who contribute to the collective success – and that concept, my friends, applies to everyone!

From this perspective, no matter where you may come from, Thanksgiving is a wonderful time to recognize, acknowledge and appreciate all of the contributions made to organizational success. Particularly when people are expected to do more with less, work long hours, cross global time zones and move quickly from crisis to crisis, it’s important to pause and say “thank you.” If you want your people to continue working with unbridled energy and commitment, it’s vital to remember that money alone is not sufficient currency – appreciation, in fact, goes a long way toward building an emotional bank account with those who are ultimately responsible for that “collective success”.

The power of creating a culture of thankfulness is unlimited. Recognizing people for going “above and beyond” creates a positive dynamic that motivates individuals and teams to commit their very best to you and the organization.  The Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For list highlights simply “Thanking People” as one of 9 key practice areas in their Culture Framework. According to Fortune, the Best Companies thank employees personally and in unexpected ways; they thank people frequently and cultivate a “climate of appreciation”. Think about the implications of simply saying “thank you”…

Thanksgiving is a traditional time to give thanks for all that we have been blessed with in our lives – including those we serve, those we serve with and those who serve us. People remember how they are treated in good times… and in bad. Demonstrate “an attitude of gratitude” and it will come back to you many times over.

Have you given thanks to those you work with for all they do for you and the organization?

I am truly thankful for each and every one of you.  Have a happy Thanksgiving – whoever you are and wherever you may be from!

Please feel free to contact me at Sheri.Mackey@LuminosityGlobal.com or by visiting our website at www.LuminosityGlobal.com. Next week we will continue with Part 2 of “Influence”.

Of all the amazing experiences I have been so fortunate to have, across many different boundaries and borders, one of my very favorites is the unique opportunity I had to walk with lions in Zimbabwe.  While canoeing down the river Sabi (avoiding the hippos) was exciting, going on an elephant safari proved adventurous, swimming in The Devil’s Pool at the top of Victoria Falls was amazing and staying in the historic, luxurious Victoria Falls Hotel was, well… historic and luxurious, nothing compares to walking with lions. Many of you probably think I must be crazy – who wants to walk with wild lions? But this was a fascinating opportunity that offered many insights – and besides, how many chances do you get to walk with lions?

As I watched the lions approach, with only a walking stick in my hand and a pre-brief on lion behavior in my head, I wondered how I would engage these powerful creatures and what I could learn from them…

Here is just a bit of what I was reminded of through my encounter with the lions:

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GLABB – a term that defines who I am professionally to a large extent. If you have followed my posts on this topic so far, you know where I stand on the term Global… as well as Leadership.  Today, let’s talk about what it means to work Across Boundaries…. because the reality is that it can mean many things to many people.

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In my world, working across boundaries is about lateral thinking… really comprehending that you are a single piece of a much larger puzzle and that your piece has a significant impact on the larger whole. It also means having the capacity to move across those boundaries to absorb knowledge from one context or discipline and apply it back into your area of expertise to create a free-flow of information – increasing your knowledge and the potential to “create a better mousetrap”. Think Leonardo DaVinci:

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An Evolving Paradigm

December 18, 2013 — 3 Comments

As a leader today, you need to have a taste for adventure. At the very least, you should appreciate the commitment and intense talent that resides within those athletes who excel in sports such as surfing, kayaking or downhill skiing because global leadership, like extreme sports, is not for the faint of heart…

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In today’s complex business environment you, as a global leader, are required to become an Extreme Team Captain with the ability to navigate through unfamiliar and turbulent environments, while maximizing the functional, geographical, and cultural diversity of your teams to create and deploy winning strategies that will change the game forever. In today’s multicultural, dynamic world, understanding that evolving into this new breed of Extreme Global Leader is critical to your own career acceleration and creating sustainable growth for your organization! Continue Reading…