In this episode, I cover a strategy for assessing and building your own powerful senior executive network both inside and outside your current business.
In the busy-ness of modern corporate life, it can be so easy to let yourself get isolated from not only external trusted advisors but also high-quality senior executives within your own organisation. The truth is most of us underestimate just how powerful an ambassador in your corner can be for pushing through key projects, cutting through red-tape and attracting new career opportunities. At the same time, we discount the power of detractors that end up closing doors and resisting everything we do.
Here is a simple strategy to define your networks current state so you can take precise action:
- Draw a map of your current network internally
- Rate them as Critical, Important or Neutral for your projects and career
- Rate their level of support for you as an Ambassador, Neutral or Detractor (and colour code them Green for Ambassador, Amber for Neutral, Red for Detractor)
- Take action on the most important people
- Repeat the process for your external network
[SECRET TIP: Put on the executives that don’t currently have a relationship but you should or would like to have a relationship with]
Now that you have a heat-map of your network it can help to assess why some of the key people are red, why others are amber and others green. Think about these five factors for each relationship:
Know: Do they know you well, can they put a face to a name and do they know your story
Like: Are you a likeable person around the office, are you interested in other people's stories (including theirs), are you trying to help them and others so business isn't always about your agenda
Trust: Are you authentic and do you overtly demonstrate integrity
Capable: Can you get the job done and lead change
Reliable: Do you turn up all the time not just some of the time
Some tips on how to get access to key executives that you don't know yet:
- Hint – find ways to cross paths at conferences/meetings
- Ask if they are open to meeting to discuss your career (how to get and keep a CEO mentor)
- Like and share their content on social media
- If they are doing small workshops / 1:1s at conferences then buy-it
- Get into a mastermind of other senior professionals
Remember, building a powerful executive network takes a long-term consistent effort. You have to keep giving without counting the cost and help others achieve their dreams and goals. Once your network is activated you'll come to realise the amazing benefits of the world paying you back for all you've done. It's a magnificent way to do business.