Coaching to Core Ideals – Networks of Power

This is the final post in this series Coaching to Core Ideals. There are several topics in the running and in the making! Stay tuned!

The IDEAL LEADER is 1) Visionary, 2) Authentic, 3) Disciplined, 4) Accessible, and 5) a Strategic Learner. See the Coaching to Core Ideals post to get a quick overview and context for the series.

The IDEAL LEADER is a STRATEGIC LEARNER.

  1. Thinking their business “ahead” of the game and also their own skills and awareness
  2. Networks within the industry and the company to gain important perspectives and knowledge to make decisions

My desire is to make a real contribution to the narrative on how leaders can truly impact the lives of those around them and live an intentional life…an integrated life. This post completes this series on “Coaching to Core Ideals”.  I thank all of you who have stayed with me on my sporadic writing journey on this subject. The funny part about writing this post is that I have made a significant breakthrough for myself. I have been writing poetry and capturing ideas privately for years and have many more things that I want to explore…stay tuned there is more to come!

Leaders in many ways ARE their network. If that is the case then we need to define or distinguish just what a network is and it is often used as a verb. What we now refer to as networking has much to do with the connections and linkages within the domain of computers and Internet exchanges. Have you experienced trying to get your work done when the “network is down”?  Without the proper connections you are powerless and inefficient at best. You rely on your network more than you realize. It’s value becomes dramatically real when it is gone or weak at a time you need it the most in your career and personal life.

Powerful or power-filled networks expand your capacity to take care of personal and business concerns into the future. When we don’t network to create relationships we lack the ability to even find a good plumber or reliable mechanic. Individuals often make very poor decisions about customer acquisition or important career decisions because they lack a solid network of relationship. Success or lack of it in work and life can be a reflection of our ability to network. Quantity is not the answer. The quality of your network has a direct impact on the quality of your life and work!

To make connections that help you learn strategically requires some tacit personal skills in communication and a focused awareness. It doesn’t mean you need to be a polished speaker or social butterfly. It just means you need to be able to connect with people and information in a way that it makes sense to what’s most important to you personally and professionally. Joining the right association, clubs, or attending relevant industry/social events can all be vehicles for accomplishing the construction of a network. There are formal clubs and sponsored networking associations that help people build relationships and get connected. You need to enter those with a clear idea of the “forsake of why” you are building your network. Clarity of purpose and what you value in relationships is more important than eloquent speech.

Networking requires a results orientation…a clear focus on results wanted and objectives for desired outcomes. Social networking has been made possible by using the Internet to connect easily to gain knowledge and perspective from a broader community…very quickly. LinkedIn and Facebook are just two examples… and all of these venues can now be linked together using applications. Now you can network in a very efficient manner and yet this still doesn’t make the “power” point. It makes the connection, but not the construction of how you gain power. Power isn’t money. Its your increased capacity to act upon what you want in your work and/or personal life.

Learning happens when we are in relationship with people and now directly with information. A direct relationship with information is a fairly new phenomenon that has been enhanced with the Internet and access to information. There is also the increased access to lots of misinformation as well. The constructs of power for taking action requires that you must be of help to others in your network. Your network of help can be a valuable asset for you to be able to take care of all the concerns that you have in work and life. Really the key to strategic learning is engaging with others to “be of help” to them. Learning requires a relationship (something or someone).

Strategic learners are more empowered to make the best or most prudent decision.  No one can make the “perfect” call every time and yet decision making is what leaders are paid to do well. Even more important is helping others to make good decisions. Coaching leaders around decision making is foremost about awareness and perspective. You must help a leader explore their own perspective and encourage them to come up with the “real questions” that are being asked. We often are looking for answers when we really should first be looking for the right question. Find the right question and the answer will show up.

Internal or external networking is fundamentally the same. So many individuals struggle to gain good networks within their company. The reasons can be many, but most of the failure resides in the assessment of the risk in doing it, commitment, and practical access to people within the system. It’s hard to network if leaders or people don’t hang out with their organization. Go back to the 4th core value of being Accessible and you can now see how important it is that people within an organization have access to their leaders and each other. You can gain tremendous power in helping your direct reports to maneuver through this landscape.

I decided several years ago to just be open and accessible to others that “show up”. If someone needed help, I worked to help them. It didn’t mean I had to be the person they depended on…I connected them. If you can be a “place” where people can connect to get help you will get help. Try it out and let me know…your network will grow.

Well, this wraps up the posts for Coaching to Core Ideals. I am excited about the next adventures in writing and publishing. As I go forward I have some passions around sales leadership, leading transitions and transformation (especially those associated within business/agriculture), sharing poems, and many other “thought leadership” topics. Email me and make a request for any specific topic that you would like me to engage in as well. Don’t settle go for the IDEAL.

Core Ideals

In my center I live,

From my heart I give,

With my voice I build,

Relationship and meaning,

Speaking into others what could be,

Their very essence an ideal.

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  1. #1 by heartwoodgroup on 05/24/2011 - 10:31 am

    I wanted to contribute to my friends and colleagues in MY NETWORK. Getting published was a goal I have had for 5 years. Little did I realize the impetus to begin would arrive via a quick, literally in-the-moment email reply to my dear friend Dan “the leader man”. The outline for these posts took me 2 minutes, it just came out. Dan was looking for common or core things that would resonate with leaders globally. And that was really the beginning of my first attempt at writing something to be published. It is because of all you in my network that I am what I am today. You have freely given of your time, knowledge, and insight so that my life has become what it is and what it will be. I am still becoming.

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