Recently, I spent my day in meetings with a fabulous women’s group I belong to, Committee of 200 (c200). I have been a member of C200 for over 5 years and have been a fringe player at best. As I was dining with them, I realized that I have missed an opportunity to engage with this group in a way that is mutually advantageous to them & to me. This opportunity has been sitting in front of me for 5 years and it has been my choice – albeit a bit unconscious – to remain on the outskirts.
We all have opportunities in front of us that we fail to see, embrace, or just simply make time for. I think this is particularly true with relationships. And yet, if we really engaged, we would experience a return higher than almost any other investment of our time. That’s a big promise, I know. However, when we take time to go deep with stimulating people on the greatness path, we experience quantum growth that cannot be achieved by following their blog posts or reading the most acclaimed biz book. Depth Rules.
As the pace of work & the pressure on our results has increased, networking is easy to scrap. I hate the word networking. It’s really CONNECTION outside of our immediate four walls. It is sharing, engaging, teaching, learning, serving, and bringing value. It is being available to help, listen, and support. It is a mutual exchange of energy, focus, and brilliance. It is an opportunity for a fresh perspective, a paradigm shift, and an open door. It is a phenomenal way to share your gifts, re-energize, and break through old ways of thinking and habits.
I could go on but you get the point. Networking is an overused, empty word for purposeful connection. And when we take time to connect with the true value of these opportunities, it’s hard to say no because we don’t have time, a meeting ran long, or we can’t get out of the office. If you aren’t networking, you are working in a shrinking space. Because the world is dynamic and expanding, your skills & perspective are caving in even if they are static. Engaging with high impact, talented people who are on a quest for greatness takes the lid off.
I ask my team to consider where they are against world-class standards. Good is highly over-rated. And yet, if we are comparing ourselves against our little slice of the world, we’re probably just “good” even if we appear great. “Great” high school athletes rarely are “great” collegiate athletes, and “great” collegiate athletes are rarely “world-class” pro athletes. So what’s your marker?
Are you content being an awesome high school athlete (playing on my somewhat weak metaphor) or are you on the world-class path? If you are on the world class path, you must surround yourself with people who share your passion for excellence.
Who are you surrounding yourself with?