Expanding my network
I like to think of myself as a "connector" and I think, many of you who know me, may even use that word to describe me, or name it as one of my skills. But I think I could be better at it and that I could improve my networking. So my goal for the rest of March is to intentionally move the dial on that number closer to 10. I need your help to do it. I really love connecting with people and especially making connections between other people. I like to connect because I like to 'be in the know' and because I believe it helps me do my work better when I have a sense of trends, opportunities and even the needs of others. Pretty regularly I find myself in a conversation saying: "I think you'd have a lot in common with..." Or, "I bet so and so would be interested in your project..." Or, "You have to meet so and so...I'm going to make an introduction." After watching this video about leadership by Rosalind Torres in preparation for the Leadership Lab that my colleague Michele Martin and I are facilitating, I was inspired to take notice of my professional and personal networks.
What I noticed is that my circle is made up of mostly similar people: educators, consultants, people who work or volunteer in non-profits or youth development. And what I'd really like to do is expand my network BEYOND this community. I believe that I will learn a lot by doing this and that my perceptions, my habits, my routines and routine ways of thinking will get shook up. For me, it is in that space where my innovation, learning and creativity lives. This also helps me get better at approaching (new) situations with a "beginner's mind." My mom said to me a few years ago she noticed that I have a hard time being a beginner and that if I could, I would like to jump right into intermediate. Well, as moms usually are: she was right. By connecting with people outside of my typical network, I give up the role of 'expert' and place myself in the role of learner and beginner. Here's where I need your help. Please take a look at your address book. Is there anyone in it you think I should meet? I'm looking to be connected with anyone YOU think I should meet and I'm asking YOU to make introductions. My goal is to start learning from others who may be working in other industries or fields to see what I can come to understand about how they do their work, how do they stay current in their field? Are there ways to connect across our industries? Who do THEY connect with? You can link right here to my email address to make that first introduction. And please let me know if I can help you expand your network. Thanks in advance for helping me turn up the dial from a "7" to a "10".