Friday, October 3, 2008

Leaders - Know How to Network

I’ve spent the week talking with senior IT managers in the US about networking from the perspective that networking is a leader’s mandate; it’s not a choice.

Unlike the other postings, I'm not talking about how senior folk need to have a career perspective on networking (though they do). I'm positing that it’s good business to be a networker with your internal partners and your own employees.

While we can’t mandate folks to connect, we can mandate leaders to be effective relationship managers and share their networks with their teams. Our daily relationships with our colleagues and partners are the ones we treat as the most transactional - “you have to work with me ‘cuz you’re paid from the same company” is a common underlying sentiment.

Do you know how your team approaches and hones relationships? Is it by magic? Instinct? Or careful and considerate choice?

This is a strong statement: networking is a leadership issue.

Consider this: if networking is a process and not a single transaction or event; if networking is strategic planning; if networking is part of the daily business function (not career searching but daily business interaction) then it stands to reason that it is a leadership deliverable.

Viewed this way, daily business interaction can be broken in processes that should be discussed and explored like other business functions. Choice, instead of habit, would make a leader intentional in their interactions.

I’ll continue this in my next posting.

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