The thing about your network is that you can never be in “set it and forget it” mode. It’s a constantly evolving process of thinking about who do you need to build relationships with, finding them, nurturing them, helping them. Repeat. Make peace with that.
It’s probably obvious that you need to have solid relationships with your peers and the members of your teams. Here are some other valuable relationships to nurture:
1) Sponsors: Yes, it’s critical to have senior people in your network to mentor you. Even more important is to cultivate sponsors.
Sponsors are the ones who talk you up in meetings you’re not part of and offer up your name to lead visible projects.
Sponsors are valuable since they make sure you get opportunities.
2) Experts: Interacting with external experts help you see the bigger picture.
Experts give you fresh perspective and help you beef up your knowledge. Referring to experts now and again also helps increase your own credibility.
3) Cross-functional: When you interact with people inside of your company but outside of your regular sphere, you simply learn more about what’s going on at the company. You often find out valuable information that helps you connect the dots.
Include plenty of cross-functional colleagues in your network even if you can’t see how they are relevant.
Try these ideas. Do you have other ideas of who should be in your network?
Send me an email to let me know!