The importance of a network

Would you say that you have a strong network?

Do you realize the power of a strong network?

Do you even realize that networks exist?

Some people try to solve everything themselves. If they don’t know how to do it, they may try and do it partially well, or miserably fail.

However, having a strong network can make all the difference in the world.

To some, building a network might seem like an admission of failure on their part–like they can’t do something themselves. This is far from the truth. Think of a network as part of your skill set.

It’s through a network that you truly can solve problems and get things done.

There is a guy I work with that is extremely skilled at building a network. Not just any network though, this network is of people who get things done around the building. He always knows who to call. He is literally known for his network.

Networks can help you in other ways too. They can open doors to new opportunities at work or in other places. The type, level, and caliber of that network defines the type of opportunities that might become available.

Some networks are designed to help you better understand your customer because the network is with your customers themselves. Networking with the people that you work with and for can be very helpful for gathering information regarding their needs and allows you to better understand what is happening before it happens.

Some networks are of a professional development nature. These are the type of networks of professionals in your chosen line of work. Building connections in these areas helps you open up your understanding of new concepts and ideas.

The last important network is a social network. I’m not specifically talking about social media like Facebook, although that is a type, but more of a network around your personal interests, like horses, golf, church, quilting, etc. Having a strong and broad network in these interest areas provides greater opportunities for you to enjoy the things you love.

Simply understanding that these networks exist is important for you to cultivate them. I think that some of us have one or more of these networks, but fail to realize that they even exist.

When I was in the Air Force, as I moved from base to base, I would quickly build a professional network through professional military organizations. This network was fraternal in nature and these connections last still today. However, this network also led to the type of network that allowed me to get things done on base that others couldn’t because of red tape. Generally a solution was simply a phone call or email away. This network also opened up professional opportunities that weren’t overly obvious to me at first.

For a while I simply took these things for granted, like everyone had these opportunities, but I eventually learned that what I was doing resulted in building these networks and they were not by happenstance. By understanding this, I realized the potential of these types of networks and increased by personal investment in building and maintaining them.

Today you have networks that you operate within. The question is do you realize that they even exist and are you focused on investing in them?


About johnrknotts
John Knotts is a results-oriented business professional leader, manager, and supervisor with experience from the military, small business, several nonprofits, and is currently a management consultant. Working out of the San Antonio, Texas, he retired from the Air Force in July 2008 and worked with Booz Allen Hamilton from the end of October 2008 to December 2011. Now he is a Strategic Business Adviser with USAA. John leads large and small strategic transformations and has extensive experience in the areas of change management, strategic planning, process improvement, strategic communication and marketing, strategic human capital and resource management, education and training, facilitation, organizational design and development, modeling and simulation, financial and budget analysis, activity based costing and management, quality management, competitive sourcing and privatization, leadership development, and business development.

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