Leaders should take the time to connect, network, and meet other leaders. Mike Davidson said, “It’s all about people. It’s about networking and being nice to people and not burning any bridges.” You should take time to go within and outside of the office to connect and network with other leaders. When you are in the middle of a group of leaders you will find these benefits:
Being around other leaders allows you to learn from them and hear about their experiences. The key is to find competent leaders and ask them the right questions. You can ask them about their leadership experiences including their success and failure, what they are learning, how they have mastered a certain skill-set, or industry specific questions. Great leaders will want to share with you about those areas and are likely to walk away learning something new.
It’s been said that it’s not what you know but who you know and who knows you. The more you are meeting new leaders the more your list of contacts will grow. A full list of contacts can greatly benefit you. You never know if one of those leaders will end up coaching or mentoring you, offering you a job position, or connecting you with a high profile leader. The contacts you add to your circle can become trusted allies or close friends.
Oprah Winfrey said, “Surround yourself with only people who are going to lift you higher.” There is something special when you are around a room full of leaders. Being around people who share the commonality of leading can provide each member of the group support, understanding, and encouragement. In essence it can refresh you.
If you attended a party with all engineers and you are not an engineer you will have a hard time following or relating to the engineers talk about engineering. Every industry has its own language or way they talk about their specific industry. The same is true with leadership, no matter the industry you are a leader within you speak or talk leadership. Being around other leaders allows you to have conversations on the topic of leading and you will be able to relate with and understand each other.
You can promote yourself
In a group of leaders, especially if you don’t know each other yet, you will have the opportunity to promote yourself. You can share your leadership story which includes your knowledge and experiences as a leader. Sharing allows other people to see your leadership skills and abilities. Know that there is nothing wrong with promoting yourself if it’s done in moderation. You will want to make sure you are showing interest in the other person and listening to them while avoiding only talking about yourself or the topic you want to discuss. Every once in a while and only when it’s relevant you can scatter in things that promote you. Promoting yourself can lead to people wanting to know you and possibly also to future opportunities.
Growth opportunities, gaining new contacts, being refreshed, and promoting yourself are some of the many benefits you will receive when you take the time to connect and network with other leaders. In a future post we will discuss places where you can connect and network with other leaders.
Questions: What are some of the other benefits from connecting and networking with other leaders? Have you benefited from any of the above points?
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