Who’s in your network? We have talked about those that influence, connect and support us. But are those folks in your network all from the same or similar background, same level and or the same company that you work for? Here’s the thing, you are not maximizing your network or its power if its comprised of the same type of people.
For example: Imagine if one day you decide that you want to become a consultant in your area of expertise. Who would you reach out to that has already paved some of the way, done the work to start up or has a clear line of sight at some of the hurdles? If you haven’t added people with entrepreneurial spirit and experience in your network then you will be starting from scratch. Now let's push this example a little further. Maybe you do not want to go the entrepreneurial route. Do you think you could benefit from the experiences of someone who has started a business or two, has developed his or her own product and is able to articulate value because that is what drives their business? When put into this context I am sure you are saying “of course!!!” yet I wonder (and you should too) have you built those relationships already?
As you are building your network consider the following:
If you are looking to push the needle in your development, then your network should be one that is diverse enough that it puts you in growth mode. A network that you are “comfortable” with just means that they validate your values, thoughts and actions but they are not pushing you to be your better self.
So, what kind of network do you have? Is it one that challenges you?