Organizational and Personal Advancement Through Leveraging Networks
Organizational and Personal Advancement
I believe that many leaders of organizations unfortunately miss what I feel to be their most valuable personal achievement: leveraging networks.
I first came to this notion while reading Herminia Ibarra and Mark Lee Hunter’s article “How Leaders Create and Use Networks.”
The world today has a few great thinkers, but many pontificators who think their ideas are great. The distinction is made throughout this blog.
Business globalization, changing demographics, the emergence of disruptive technologies, and shakeups in the tech arena have forced effective leaders to create and use networks for achieving their business goals. And so, the key to a good strategic network is leverage: the ability to marshal information and support resources from one sector of a network to achieve results in another.
Networks and Strategic Networkers
Creating a network is the first step to becoming a successful leader. However, the ability to efficiently and strategically leverage that network is what differentiates great thinkers from pontificators.
Those who strategically leverage networks are able to use indirect influence; you are able to persuade one person in your network to leverage their network in order to meet your needs. This can mean that someone in your network simply gains the desired action of someone outside of your network.
Strategic networkers do this by expanding their influence beyond their relative environment. They shape it in their own image by moving and hiring subordinates, changing suppliers and sources of financing, lobbying to place allies in peer positions, and even by restructuring their boards to create networks favorable to their business goals.
This brings us full circle, to the goal of this blog.
The Goal of This Blog
The goal of this blog is to challenge your thinking and to share content that will aid leaders in leveraging networks. Hence, it will curate 1) thoughts, 2) professional observations, 3) pithy musings, 4) the occasional rant, and 5) other resources that will help leaders build new interrelationships and intensify cooperation and engagement.
A note to my academic readers of this blog post: If you know of substantial academic research around leveraging networks, or have suggestions for future posts, please take the time to add a comment.
I look forward to your feedback and to sharing knowledge with you!