Making Connections

For a while now, I have been working on increasing my network and establishing myself a reputation as an entrepreneurial thought leader. Many of you that have followed me on Twitter and read my blogs over the past year or so will see that I have grown and learnt a lot since I first dipped my toe in to the proverbial Social Networking Sea.

I have learnt that consistency and reliability is a key trait. I have learnt that it is important to focus and opine on a small range of subjects rather than tweeting and blogging for the sake of it. I choose to focus on a subject that is close to my heart, Leadership.

Don’t get me wrong, I know that documenting the minutiae of your life is important to some people but not to me. Frankly I’d rather those people directed that stuff to Facebook so that I don’t keep getting their FourSquare “I’m at” tweets and their “I’m having a cheese sandwich for lunch” tweets.  Unfortunately, in amongst all that dross is often some real nuggets of useful and meaningful information… otherwise I would quickly un-follow said individuals.

Yesterday, I had a LinkedIn request from one of my “light-touch” contacts asking me to make a quick connection. I looked at the request and thought, “he wants me to bridge a connection to a fairly powerful guy in my network so that he can get an answer to a question by tomorrow… that’s not going to happen.” After all, why would I jeopardise a good relationship for someone that I don’t know particularly well just because he couldn’t plan a little better and give me more time?

Almost immediately after I received the LinkedIn request, I saw a LinkedIn posting from Alina Tugend at SecondAct entitled “Forget Networking. How to be a Connector” that discusses the importance of making connections. A few minutes reflection after reading the posting and I realised that I had forgotten one of the basic rules of leadership engagement…

The request came from a friend in need. OK, the friend in need isn’t a close friend, I don’t see him very often, but nevertheless, he is a friend and he needs help. I put myself in his shoes. He wouldn’t have asked unless it was important to him. Making the connection wasn’t difficult; I just had to position it carefully.

So, I picked up the phone, had a brief chat and hopefully, connection made and problem solved.

I guess I have now learnt a new lesson… Bridging connections can be very powerful. It is certainly very satisfying and supports the basic rule of networking… Give without expectation and you will truly receive in abundance.

About Peter Borner

Peter is an entrepreneur and successful business leader. Currently leading a consultancy firm specialising in technical diligence for M&A and advising global firms on IT consolidation and migration to consumption based costing through the use of Cloud Technologies.

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