Networking is 21st Century marketing for the leader. An intentionally constructed and caringly maintained network is a rich, interactive storehouse of knowledge, information, and resources. The larger encounter is intended for sharing.
As an aware, focused, and loving leader, you create career connections that are founded on mutual meaning. A career connection is someone who has become a member in your network based on what you do. This member is a recipient of your creativity delivered through your calling – the confidence of your purpose.
As a solo-preneur, my network is my market. Networking for me is marketing. In the transitional years of the 21st Century, it has become clear that this situation is the same for the individual leader. In order to market you, it is important to know your market.
In the 21st Century, a leader’s market is no longer only those in the employ of the company. Your reach is now through all levels of the organization, across the industry, and into other industries. The justification of this reach is not title or position; it is your purpose.
With the incredible 21st Century tools, we have broad reach. An individual career is less likely to span one organization as was the story in the recent 20th Century. In this reality, it is important to commit to the act of networking.
Networking is not something we “get to” when we have time – when our mind is not preoccupied by busyness. Networking is real work. Networking is a serious operation – a practice rich with creativity and giving.
For more like this and the developing series around the 7 skills, see: 21st Century Leadership Skills