Only after your network is fixed can you go be the linchpin, the Great Connector, that you are meant to be. Once you fix your network, you can serve it and its members better. Once you fix your network, you will realize that yours is just a small part of a much bigger, much more powerful network and that we are all servants of the same human collective.
-From post 6/30/2011 by Ric Gonzalez, Woo Woo Leadership
Fixing a network might simply be in creating a new understanding for:
… Why you make your connections
… What you do in your network
… How you serve your connections.
Your unique purpose as a leader forms a thread of meaning from one connection to another. One by one, connections of meaning form the power of a network. The artful act of connecting forms a creative bounty of connections.
It is meant for you to draw from this creativity in the collective. I believe part of what Ric is telling us is that our service finds voice in our network. Confidently exercising your own voice builds trust in your network and frees the flow of your gift.
The gift of your art flows freely through a confident voice. Your voice empowers the no so often needed to keep you on the path of service. Your network benefits greatly from your living, flowing purpose. Voice resonates in purpose.
My colleague Keith knows that part of fixing a network is the confidence to say no. And while voice gives power to the often required no, it also speaks a confident ‘yes’ to the service of our gift.
“Connectors … They’re an open door that’s never closed to possibilities. This makes them totally receptive to the abundance that’s always ceaselessly flowing.” -Dr. Wayne Dyer in The Power of Intention
You are the message.
A compelling personal purpose/brand is about being clear and conscious of who you are. This gives you a level of confidence to set yourself aside and focus on others – confidently giving your voice in what you do. Your voice is the resonance of purpose. You must understand you as the message in order to effectively market your purpose.
Like Maggie in the skill of Messaging, your first order of purpose is to be yourself consistently; to engage and leverage who you are and make choices in the light of authenticity. You encounter challenge with confidence – you are engaged in something larger. Intently processing what it means to be part of something larger will guide you to the message that says; I am part of something, and I have an important role in the larger story. This level of awareness is prerequisite to market you in an honest, congruent fashion.
There lies the rub. If the thought of marketing yourself is a turnoff, then I challenge you to open your thinking. Many of us are turned off by the self-promotion of a braggart; as well as we should be. Boasting is not marketing. Boasting focuses solely on the one boasting. In the light of networking in the 21st Century, marketing your purpose and brand is about those you serve; it is about connection.
For more like this and the developing series around the 7 skills, see: 21st Century Leadership Skills