The secret sauce in networking well

The secret sauce in networking well


You need KNOW HOW and KNOW WHO for a successful career

“If we create networks with the sole intention of getting something, we won’t succeed. We can’t pursue the benefits of networks; the benefits ensue from investments in meaningful activities and relationships. “

Adam Grant

We know this, and that real community comes from contribution with the question ‘How can I help?’.

The narrative on great networking skills talks of connecting, building, giving and helping. Networking has also become synonymous with generating business opportunities, getting noticed and referrals. 

These can be the benefits over time of connecting and supporting others, building trust and gaining a reputation for our talents. However it takes time and there are no guarantees of a return. You need to start with a give and build mindset. If you get it right the outcome is that you gain not the immediate output!

How to view your KNOW WHO!

CAREER ASSETS – Your personal network and their connections are one of your biggest career assets. Over the years the more you invest in meaningful relationships the more you will gain. Work at it strategically.

THE NO1 RULE IS – invest to give not to gain.

This is just like any other investment – it benefits from compounding over time and there are no guarantees of a return on your investment. You have to TRUST and be the type of person who you would like to connect with. You give, help, introduce, support and connect.


LinkedIn is the business tool to help you create this network. Consistently building connections as you progress through life and meet through communities – are your primary aims. They are your Career Tribe – quality beats quantity. If you come at it late or in an adhoc fashion – that is ok but you will need to put more effort in and give more. How can you be more generous with your Tribe?


The LinkedIn chronological bits are for recruitment and algorithms not to meet your personal needs. Work on your profile so that it represents you and says ‘Hello World’ to match your personal brand, keep it updated and post things that represent your ‘Point of View’ and snippets from your Work^Life that make you human and interesting.


Take time to look at your network as individuals. Treat them as a valued asset. Always have a valid reason to add a connection. As you meet people through work (bosses, colleagues, recruiters, trainers, coaches and suppliers) plus through LinkedIn Communities and at work/ learning events – introduce yourself, add value, regularly connect, be interested and interesting. Follow up on requests for help from known colleagues, friends and associates.

If you keep to likeminds that might just be too comfortable in a world of unprecedented change. So also go do LinkedIn #socialsaturday but with the right mindset and commitment to add value and help others. Take the opportunity to step outside your usual circle of connections and comfort zone, be a global citizen and explore the edges of your world a bit. This is where the energy and ideas help you innovate.

Remember you need to be consistent to compound and as the adage says:

Sow, Weed, Water, Wait!