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Don’t neglect your most valuable asset to power your career

Don't neglect your most valuable asset to power your career

Are you neglecting the most valuable asset you have to power your career during turbulent times? I bet you are. Here’s the warning sign that your career is in big danger. And what to do about it.

Keeping at the leading edge of our industries to remain relevant and valuable is one of the defining career challenges of our times. Often, it’s about keeping up with technology. But that’s not enough. Underpinning all successful careers is a platform of goodwill and support which we often give low priority to. Yet the ‘danger sign’ is flashing loud and clear if we just pause a moment and reflect upon it. Here it is.

You know you are becoming irrelevant when your network is getting older.

It’s a simple as that.

I have always nurtured my network. Not for short-term gain. But because the most important thing to me in business has always been, and remains, relationships.

I make time to keep connected with my main contacts — through coffees, hand-written notes, phone calls, my blog. I always give them time when they ask for it, and always try to ‘pay it forward.’ I try to build what I call ‘goodwill equity’…. relationships where I have made an effort to contribute and make a difference somehow, in the hope that one day, should I or someone close to me ever need it, that this effort would be returned.

I love these connections. But two years ago I realised that my core network was not growing. It was stagnant — made up of the same people. Many of whom were now moving away from the cut and thrust of business and into other pursuits in life. They were moving from what started as a business network connection, to becoming the best of all — just good old-fashioned friends.

Here’s my point.

For careers to survive and thrive, we have to consistently and relentlessly be adding new contacts and connections into our ‘network’ funnel. These are the new generation of entrepreneurs, thought leaders, agitators, inspirers. They bring new knowledge, ideas, energy, pace, pressure, expectations. They are setting the standards, and are driving agendas.

Refresh your networks, always.

Don’t lose touch with those you have built sweat equity and shared experience with. These are your trusted community of close business associates and friends.

Just make damned sure that you are, every week, finding new value-adding contacts to add to your world. When you find them, it’s all up to you to make the connection and build the value. Pay it forward. Try to make a difference. Give them time and your genuine interest. Build trust though meaningful connection over time.

Refresh your networks. Remind yourself every week to do it. Make three new connection a week. Select two a month from those 12 that you are going to make a real effort with. And within 12 months, you’ll have 24 new and powerful, value-adding relationships as part of your absolutely current and engaged network.

Keeps you at the edge. Build value. And puts real high-octane fuel in careers.

Hey — want to make a LinkedIn connection with me? I do.

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