Some folks call it the butterfly effect. Some say 'karma'. Today, let's call it dominoes.
Each action or choice opens a new set of doors. Each interaction can create chains of reactions. Each idea ripples beyond the initial impact.
Every time you share an idea with someone - suggest a perspective - support a person/project - you can't always control the outcome but you do influence it. And leadership isn't about span of control as much as it is about influencing outside that span so that people and projects mesh better and more broadly.
So what does that mean in terms of mentoring or networking? It means that you can create change one person at a time. The little discussions that resonate with folks - that are deliberately sought or not - are the ones that become embedded in plans, philosophies and attitudes.
Which always makes me feel that I should be more deliberate in my interactions... but it's really not about that. It's about approaching everything while being true to my passions and beliefs and being open to the input of others to change/shape them further.