In the connected era, building an engaged network is everything. This doesn’t mean you exchange a bunch of business cards at random networking events. An engaged network is activated when your connections care about you and you care about them. This mutual respect leads to improved collaboration through a genuine interest in one another. As we go beyond our immediate self-interest, it becomes clear that the only way forward is together.
One of the best ways to unlock your engaged network is by introducing people to each other. This triangulates you into more relationships. The more people you connect, the more connected you become.
Connectors eventually become the people who know everyone. When you know everyone, people start introducing themselves to you more often. This creates a cycle that inherently feeds itself. The social currency that comes with being a connector earns you the ability to keep connecting others. Over time, this cultural connectedness translates into an invitation to lead.
Connectors who decide to lead should continue to help others succeed while allowing new leaders to surface. Being an active leader and the go-to connector won’t last forever and that’s a good thing. It can be hard to let go of a leadership role, but your work will not be forgotten and proactive succession is healthy for the community. Let others lead knowing you’re not losing control, power or influence. You’re gaining the freedom to pursue new ways that make an impact as the entrepreneurial ecosystem is refreshed and given the latitude to grow.