Ten years ago Thomas Friedman wrote a bestselling book called The World Is Flat. In it he described how the world was being transformed to become a global playing field, writing about the shift to the global village as it is widely known today. This has opened many doors for people and is now often used in everyday business.
One consequence of this global village is the limitlessness thereof, which can become overwhelming. The information and options available to individuals and businesses have become endless. Although this is a positive thing, the challenge lies in taking advantage of the information and options available without drowning in it.
In this environment, our connections are our most important asset. Because it is not possible for an individual to read and learn about all information available out there, we need to have connections we can trust to bring the most important resources and information to our attention.
Connectedness is more than merely connecting to anyone who is willing to do so
By making smart decisions about your connections, you have a better chance of ensuring that:
- You do not have so many connections that it becomes distracting
- You do not have so few connections that you are overly reliant on the few you do have
- You have a diverse enough group of connections to inspire innovation
- You are in touch with current trends which encourages improvement
- You have connections that are unique enough to better your position
- You have a small enough group of connections to help you remain focused
You have to keep your objectives in mind with the connections you make. It is important to ensure that you are making decisions based on the results you want.
Connections are important in all different contexts and levels. Many of the most successful people are successful because they have been smart and prudent about how they make and use connections.
Consider for a moment what your network looks like at this moment.
- Will your current connections aid you in reaching your goals?
- What needs to change in your network of connections to better enable you to reach your goals?
People play different roles in a network
- People can be central connectors, which means that they know a lot of other people.
- People can act as brokers, connecting people who would not otherwise connect.
- People can be peripheral specialists, which means that they do not have a lot of other connections but are valuable because of the knowledge they have.
Central connectors and brokers are mainly valuable because of the relationships they bring to the table; peripheral specialists are mainly valuable because of the knowledge they bring to the table.
In our day and age, we do not have any option but to trust those around us for the resources we need in order to succeed. With so many resources and so much information out there to navigate, your network of connections has become one of your most valuable resources.
About the Author
David Schwarz is CEO & Founder of Board Direction – Australia’s leading board advertising and non-executive career support firm. He has over a decade of experience of putting people on boards as an international headhunter and a non-executive recruiter and has interviewed over one thousand non-executives and placed hundreds into some of the most significant public, private and NFP roles in the world. He has been described as Australia’s leading board recruitment expert, is a published author, a regular speaker on the board appointment process and runs Board Search Masterclasses across Australia. He is one of Australia’s Top 10 LinkedIn users with over 20,000 connections. Email: [email protected]