One of my favorite topics is the importance of connecting. Here is a post on that topic from Guest Contributor Mona Reiser:
In reading an article in the Atlanta Journal Constitution on Matt Arnett “A Curated Life” there were two sentences that resonated with me and were easily “business/leadership attributable.”
“Matt maintains friendships with many influential people in Atlanta, many of whom refer to him as a “maven”, an “influencer”, a “connector”. For the reading of this blog, let’s focus on the word “connector.”
Over the years, as you grow your professional career, you will meet many people including your co-workers, your employees, and interact with many inside and outside groups. You have plenty of opportunities to begin to influence and become a connector. Your ability to listen, remember salient facts (can be both professional or even personal) and details about people or events, can and will ultimately help you in making connections. Here is a simple example: a department in your organization may be in search for an existing opening. You may have encountered a potential perfect fit and mention the name. You have now begun the process of “influencing” the credentials of said person and you have become a “connector”. As simple as this example is, it is a powerful tool of the “art of connections.”
Just the other day, someone remarked to me that I know a lot of people in so many different positions and locations. I stepped back to contemplate what they had said and I had to agree. I also realized that over the years many of my connections had shared what may have been seen as trivial comments, but became critical points for someone in the search or the need. Another example, one of my college roommates is now at a high level in the diplomatic corps, at an overseas location. Someone else I knew needed “something.” I offered the name and said go ahead and message my connection via Facebook and drop my name. BAM (sorry Emeril, I am stealing here!) how simple was that?
For some folks, this process of influencing and connecting comes very seamlessly and for others a bit of work has to be done. I would even offer, that some folks collect information but may not make a connection and will have to work at it. You can search for the word “connections” on Sue’s website to see additional articles on this topic in her blog. If you are looking for a great read to help you improve in this area, there is a book called “Never Eat Alone” by Keith Ferrazzi.
I mentioned earlier that there were 2 sentences in the article that intrigued me. The second one was “I’d prefer to illuminate trends rather than follow them.” I will save that for another article, so stay tuned!