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The Forgotten Secret Sauce For Powerful Careers

face-to-face-networkingAre 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, aggitators, 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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11 Responses to The Forgotten Secret Sauce For Powerful Careers

  1. Dan May 25, 2016 at 10:11 am #

    Great idea! Please connect with me. Link to My Linkedin profile:
    http://linkedin.com/in/danvovil

    And feel free to let me know if you are in Hong Kong next or would like to talk investments and business or just have a chat

    • Chris Savage May 25, 2016 at 11:07 am #

      Thanks Dan- hope all is good in Hong Kong! Chris

  2. Paul Alexander May 25, 2016 at 10:21 am #

    Hi Chris, you’re so much better at refreshing your network! I guess the concern for me is that those I wish to connect with may not want someone older for fear of becoming irrelevant (if you see what I mean)…
    Paul A

    • Chris Savage May 25, 2016 at 11:08 am #

      Paul- fear not!!! The youngies are desperate for wisdom and savvy counsel. You are bursting with it. Back yourself and go hard! Chris

  3. Virginia Morey May 25, 2016 at 12:43 pm #

    Great advice. I am in my fifties and I can’t believe that I have now become one of the oldest in the workplace! Am inspired to make more new contacts… thanks fort he wake-up call. Virginia

    • Chris Savage May 25, 2016 at 2:56 pm #

      Pleasure, Virginia

  4. Sing May 25, 2016 at 1:23 pm #

    Thanks Chris for reminding us the importance the subject.

  5. Henry Downing May 28, 2016 at 5:56 pm #

    How good. Thanks for the reminder Chris!

    • Chris Savage May 30, 2016 at 1:07 pm #

      Thanks Henry

  6. Sue-Ella May 29, 2016 at 1:32 pm #

    Like the advice Chris & thanks. I remember attending one of your speaking engagements at Property Council of Aust some years back where you delivered 10 tips about being the oldest person in the room – which I can relate to everyday…. and in all honesty, I enjoy it. I also remember many of the ‘property’ guys in the room at that PCA event being gob-smacked by your revelations but at same time left the room with puffed out chests thinking being ‘grey’ but relevant was an advantage in today’s workplace. One of tips back then was reaching out & increasing connections. Really good stuff Chris!

    • Chris Savage May 30, 2016 at 1:07 pm #

      Thanks Sue-Ella. Appreciated! Chris

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