Build your network

spider web and grass

I have seen a lot of people with the technical skills to perform a certain job or play a sport. However, becoming great involves looking beyond what you are doing, making connections with others around you, and seeing the potential.

Building a network is critical. In soccer, it provides people with options to pass, move the ball, and ultimately score. With the ball moving faster than the people on the field, players learn to use the other members of the team (their network) in order to pass and score (effect change). A highly coordinated team of players (or employees) can not only do what is basically required of them but also begin to create and improvise. This is when I know that teams are working on a different level and functioning highly. Mix in technology, and the effects of a team can be amplified and projected.

A culture of coordination and networking requires people to know themselves and others. Individuality is celebrated and maintained, but people understand that working with others can take them even higher. In order for this system to work well, people have to want it to succeed. It’s not easy work.

Breakdowns occur when connections are no longer being made and the network begins to fragment. The network itself is composed primarily of people with weak bonds and loose associations. Yes, some bonds will be stronger than others, maintaining a relationship requires care and attention.

Seeing new opportunities requires people to see options far enough ahead in order to have time to adapt to them. Becoming aware of space and interpreting it’s potential is a difficult skill to master, but necessary for people that want to evolve and grow. What you do and how you work with a network depends on where you want to go.

The larger the network, the more potential you have access to. Inject a large amount of energy into a system, and people will notice. Leading others and making an impact is the same way.

[Photo: A network of webs in nature.]