September 26, 2011

How to Build the Deeply Connected Network that Is Key to Any Strategy

published this at 7:49 am

The Magnetic Attraction of Values

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When we were writing the press release for the first SOBCon, I said,

Every business is relationships, and relationships are everyone’s business.

Our networks are relationships with people who help our businesses thrive.

If you look to your network, what will you find? What moves you to follow up when you collect a business card or meet a new contact? What brings you to invite a new company or a new person into that network that keeps your business alive?

It’s been said that …

If you want to know what you stand for, look at your friends.

It’s true in business as well as in our personal lives. It’s not what you say. It’s what you do that counts. We define and describe our values by the relationships we make. The values of the company we keep attract other people who keep those same values. We trust people who value what we do. We know they’ll choose as we choose and decide as we decide.

It’s an almost automatic, magnetic attraction.
The attraction occurs so naturally that we often don’t notice our common values until we grow our network without attention. Then like a bad download, we add a relationship that corrupts and we feel the loss we get an unexpected and negative response that doesn’t match our values set.

Trust relies on having our values aligned.
Trusted sources are foundational to strategy.

How to Build the Deeply Connected Network that Is Key to Any Strategy

They say …

Information is power.

The most powerful information isn’t published in Wikipedia or available to the masses via simple research. The best jobs never make it to the job boards. The best partnerships don’t get offered to everyone. Competitors don’t advertise their disadvantages or their future plans. It’s impossible to know about every startup about to launch and every web application that could expedite what you’re currently developing. Yet that scarce information is the rocket fuel that drives a brilliant strategic plan.

Strategic information like that depends on a deeply connected, values-based network of relationships. Access to prized information is what advances your position more quickly than any other resource can.

Developing a deeply connected network that brings that information to you is key to any strategic plan.

Here’s how to build a power network like that.

  1. Know your values. Identify the values that need to be present to determine a “go” or “no go” decision in your business. Those values represent your brand and the foundation of the relationships that will help your business thrive.
  2. Use those values to identify the network relationships you want to establish and cultivate. The people and businesses who share your values will be predictable and easy to trust because they will make the same decisions as you would even when the situation is not clearly black and white.
  3. Become an information magnet and filter. Develop a sense of what information is available to everyone and what is not. Put to use what informs your position. Capture and catalogue scarce information that is irrelevant to you.
  4. Pass on to others in your network information you’ve captured that will improve their position. If you share a trend building, a competitive initiative, or a new tech development about to be announced that could change their strategy, you’ll soon find they are sharing similar information with you.
  5. Treat your network as highly valued. Offer them the same regard you would offer a world leader you admire. Hold them in the highest respect. Keep their secrets. Make time for them. Value their time even more than you value your own.
  6. Show your clear appreciation. Point out their great work. Have gratitude not expectation. Realize and appreciate their achievement by filtering the connections you offer them.
  7. Choose them wisely and trust their truth. Enlist only those willing to invest to equal depth. Seek a comrades that “won’t let each other fail.” Ask them often to challenge you to see and know the truth.

A deeply connected network isn’t measured by numbers, but by commitment. Five people who hold us to a true north outweigh 500 who say we’re always right. Reach for one or two who are willing to grow your mind, your heart, your resolve, and your vision as well as your bottom line and you’ll find that many more of the same kind will find their way to you.

A deeply connected network like that is irresistible.

On what values do you deeply connect?

Be irresistible.

–ME “Liz” Strauss
Work with Liz on your business!!

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Filed under Business Life, Strategy/Analysis, Successful Blog | 2 Comments »


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2 Comments to “How to Build the Deeply Connected Network that Is Key to Any Strategy”

  1. October 3rd, 2011 at 7:49 am
    Karen Putz said

    Liz, how I remember that very first SOBCon and all that was shared there! You continue to teach and give so much value to so many– thanks for all that you do. You’re the sunrise in so many lives. :)

  2. October 3rd, 2011 at 9:44 am
    ME Liz Strauss said

    Karen!
    I don’t suppose many of those of us who were there could forget the experience. It could never come together quite that same way again. I’m so grateful for it. :)

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