Great networkers make great leaders because they have unlocked the potential of networking in their busy lives. They have created simple systems that enable them to connect with others, stay connected and create valuable lifetime connections with key players, spheres of influence and other master networkers.
Great networkers are not born, they are created. And it need not be a complex process. The great news is that anyone can improve their networking and influencing skills. The networking world is open to everyone, without exception, as long as your networking values are strong, ethical and transparent. This chapter will show you how to create and maintain strategic alliances and mastermind groups and become a master networker who positively influences many connections within valuable networks.
Many people think that networking is something that you do, rather than a way that you live. Networking is a life skill, rather than something you do only when you want something.
The basic principles of networking discussed here are based on the following three universal laws:
- The law of abundance. There are plenty of opportunities for everyone – plenty of ideas, clients, customers, jobs and so on. Just because your diary is empty does not mean that there are no opportunities around. Great networkers believe in an abundance of opportunities.
- The law of reciprocity. What you give out comes back tenfold. If you give out help, you get back help; give out love, you get back love; give out information, you get back information. The challenge, of course, is that although for you the giving is instant and in the short term, the receiving may not happen for some time. Also, what is returned may not come from the person to whom it was given. However, great networkers believe firmly that what you give out comes back tenfold.
- The law of giving without expectation. This occurs when you give without an expectation of receiving something. You do something for someone not to get something back, but because you want to help them achieve their goal.
Great networkers network ethically, professionally and courteously – aware that every best friend was once a perfect stranger, and that you never know who that stranger in front of you actually has in their network. The basic philosophy of great networkers is to treat everyone the way they would like to be treated.
-Australian Institute of Management