My childhood was a bit of a struggle. If you’ve heard me speak before, you’ll hear me say I was nit born with a silver spoon, I only bought one along my way.
My family of 7 then had very little to go by. I remember never wanting my friends to k ow where we lived. Ken would recall this. He got to k ow when he once trailed me and I was mad at him.
I was never the kind of person you would thing could grow up to have global influence.
Today I can say with confidence that I’ve met people in different parts of the world, traveled a little wide and seen a bit of the world. There is no country where I won’t have at least one person I can reach out to. All these because I belong to two very great organizations.
My church, the Redeemed Christian Church of God is arguably the fastest growing church with presence in over 180 nations of the world. Through these outpost I can reach any nation. I am also a member of the John Maxwell Team, a network of speakers and coaches spread accord the globe.
Through these networks I’ve gain influence and relevance beyond my personal ability. This is what networking can do for anyone who takes it serious.
- Success in life is determined by 5 things:
- What we do – purpose or assignment;
- How we do it – skill or competence;
- When we do it – timing;
- Where we do it – location
- Who we do it with and for – People.
The most important in my opinion is the fifth one – Who we do it and for. People make things happen. People are our greatest resource. A great leader and mentor once said “to be without friends is the highest form of poverty”
This is why networking is very critical. Networking is a very great tool in determining how far we go and what we achieve in life. Research has it that those who know how to network are usually three times more influential than those who lack this skill.
Networking determines access, Networking determine what information you can have, Networking determines our level of influence and by extension our level of affluence.
Networking is about building relationship, earning trust and cultivating individual connections. Networking is building and nurturing long term mutually beneficial relationships with people you meet.
No wonder, God Himself said it is not good for man to be alone. The question is why?
Let me try to proffer some answers.
1. When you are alone, you are limited in your capacity and productivity. John Maxwell would say; “one is too small a number to achieve greatness”.
2. Being alone increases the burden of work; this is obviously why the woman was called to help man. He need to lighten the burden of caring for the garden.
3. Being alone makes you open to attack. Lone rangers are usually prone to danger.
How then do we go about building the Network we need to improve our productivity and perform at our peak.
1. Put People First – our focus must always be on people. Remember people must come before positions, possessions, promotions, profits, etc. If you are going to be a leader, you must want more for the people than you want from them. Like people and be likable to people.
2. Add Value to People – the goal for networking is to make people better. Good leaders solve problems for people; Great leaders help people solve problems for themselves and others by equipping and empowering them. Let me ask you this, what impact are you making in the life of people? When they encounter you, do they get better or become bitter. Be a difference maker. Do not be selfish in networking. It’s all about you.
3. Be open minded – these days it appears people are even getting more biased and narrow minded when it comes to relating. I maybe wrong but it appears inter marriages has reduced in this part of the world and possibly beyond. The reason is because we are becoming more suspicious of each other. Friends, the world is changing and only the open minded can grow with the flow.
4. Develop you communication skills – people say talk is cheap but today let me say talk is not cheap. Why? Because what you say determines how people rate you. Communication creates an avenue for you to connect with people. Understand that communication has three parts: words, tonality and body language. Learn to use each well.
5. Always seek a Win/Win situation – Networking is not about getting it all. We need to embrace a win/win situation. We must to learn to work with people in a way that they also benefit. Networking should be mutually benefitting.
6. Get socially active – most people don’t know that there is something called social capital. Our lives are complimented greatly by our social side. Learn to mingle but with a focus on building networks. Be there for people. Watch there back as they say. Value what they value.
7. Create an experience people will not forget – I read something I will like to share here; “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did. But people will not forget how you made them feel”. That quote by Myer Angelou has had a great effect on my life.
Never let people leave you without a good impression of you. Give them an unforgettable experience. The kind of experience that stays with them when they leave you. Thats the way you stay in there memory. When next they meet you, they are willing to go along with you