Great leaders have a series of management tasks that enhance the achievement of goals in organizations. These tasks mainly involve team coaching, the delegation of work among subordinates, and decision-making. To be a great leader, you’ll also need to prioritize networking.
Networkers connect with like-minded individuals in the industry, employees, and other company managers. Your personality traits significantly contribute to your ability to connect with various individuals in the industry. Some of these traits include integrity, passion, and courage.
Leaders create and use networks mainly to learn from more experienced individuals in the field.
Why Networking Is Important For Leaders
Your professional network is the most powerful tool at your disposal as a leader. You build, interact, and maintain your network to achieve your development plans successfully. However, in leadership, “no man is an island,” you need support from your peers and role models.
Learning why establishing a network of peers is important will catapult your career to the next level.
Most leaders create and use networks tips and tricks to enjoy the following benefits:
Earn Career Opportunities
Networking is a mutually beneficial relationship. Every individual you connect with is relevant to your career growth. First, understand your contribution to their future success and the benefits you draw from their knowledge.
Career opportunities arise from idea exchange with knowledgeable individuals. When you listen to other people, you learn different tactics to handle business challenges.
In addition, as you connect with colleagues in the workplace, always lookout for development opportunities and mentors.
For instance, department leaders create good relationships with senior individuals to gather tactics on how to earn promotions.
Build Successful Teams
Leaders always focus on networking as a strategy to learn about a specific profession of interest. Your new finds from other professionals equip you with leadership skills such as confidence and empathy to build a strong team of employees.
Your colleagues offer advice on various ways to motivate your employees. As a result, motivated employees feel empowered and raise the company’s productivity levels.
Your team’s networking skills have to meet specific principles for you to succeed. These principles include trust and humility. In addition, do not confuse trust with control because once your team feels controlled, you might not achieve your networking goals.
Learn About Industry Trends
Market dynamics shift, and you might miss out on important deals because of a lack of sufficient information. Your network earns you quick access to recent trends in your industry.
Why Is It Important for Rising Leaders To Network
Rising managers in companies have few friends and use networking to make friendships. From these friendships, you earn referrals that get you more clients. The more referrals you get, the faster you can penetrate the market and gain a competitive advantage.
Professional friends also provide testimonials about your business to potential clients. These testimonials include your company name and the type of products offered. Some go further to explain the benefits of working with your company. This way, they ease the client’s ability to find your business.
How to Build a Strong Network
Networking may put you in a better position to earn favors from other professionals, but it is more than a means to collect favors. To earn every benefit associated with professional networking, you need to understand how to start networking.
Attend Networking Events
Where you go influences the type of people you make connections with. Every event may be a networking opportunity, but local business events will lead to valuable information since you’ll meet your peers.
Conferences and seminars are a good opportunity to overcome introversion. You’ll make valuable social relationships if you effectively communicate with other attendees. Attend such conferences with close friends who also intend to expand their businesses. This way, you’ll have familiar faces to boost your confidence.
Business events can also be virtual. Some people assume virtual networking is a challenge, but such an event is an opportunity to identify who to befriend.
Consider addressing other attendees at roundtables on matters that you understand well. Some attendees will identify you because of what you know. This way, you’ll have positioned yourself as a valuable resource, and the other members will be included to contact you. You’ll also be able to learn how to communicate with those in your position.
Choose the Right Goal
A suitable goal gets you everything you need from networking endeavors. First, figure out how a particular event or business meeting is important for your business. What do you want to achieve from your relationship with a particular individual?
Setting goals for client and professional relationships may seem one-sided, so base your goals on your value to the other party.
For instance, if your main goal is to formulate a suitable product marketing strategy, then research how existing businesses operate in the same market segment.
Focus on Follow-Ups
Networking events allow you to get business contracts. However, it may be easier for the other party to forget about such agreements, thus the need to write a follow-up letter. Your follow-up efforts also solidify your relationship.
Maximize Internal Networking
Internal connections within an organization open doors for aspiring and current leaders. As a leader, It should not be difficult for you to make connections within your organization since you have time to understand these individuals well.
First, make it your main goal to attend every meeting in your organization. Then, once you attend meetings from different departments, demonstrate your interest in your subordinates’ work.
Other leaders also choose mentors from within their organization. Your mentor can be a former holder of your position. Internal marketing also happens through simple activities such as lunch dates or discussion sessions with your colleagues. Your regular cheat chats create valuable peer networks.
Successful Network Leadership Examples
The importance of networking cannot be diminished. Network leadership has played a significant influence on the success of most leaders today. For instance, presidents create good relationships with others from different continents to access raw materials, military support, and food material.
Social entrepreneurs are also visionary, relentless, and ambitious leaders in society. They utilize client relationships to gather trending information in the market. These entrepreneurs quickly penetrate the market and operate for a long time.
Successful networking goes beyond linking to various individuals. It requires effective connections, collaborations, and creativity. As a leader, you create a strong network through sincerity, division of resources, and thoughtful use of power. Take these networking tips to better network in your professional life. There’s no telling how your relationships today can create opportunities for tomorrow.
An Outsourced CEO and expert witness, Jim Thomas is the founder and president of Fitness Management USA Inc., a management consulting, turnaround, financing and brokerage firm specializing in the gym and sports industry. With more than 25 years of experience owning, operating and managing clubs of all sizes, Thomas lectures and delivers seminars, webinars and workshops across the globe on the practical skills required to successfully overcome obscurity, improve sales, build teamwork and market fitness programs and products. Visit his Web site at: www.fmconsulting.net or www.youtube.com/gymconsultant.