She’s a Queen Networker.
That’s how someone described me. Adding, “she knows everyone you need to know.”
Quite an introduction, yet also rather lame. Who cares if I know people? “Networking” isn’t really the point. It’s who we connect with us so we do better.
Rather, each of us should meet the people who can inspire, educate, challenge and co-create with us. I might meet them at a conference (like Jimmy Guterman) or through shared friends (Tara Hunt introduced me to Mitch Joel and Michael Dila introduced me to Roger Martin) or through twitter (Kara Swisher is someone I seriously want to work with in some future life). There are still plenty of people I hope to meet like Gary Hamel, Umair Haque, Don Tapscott, Bob Sutton, and certainly Simon Sinek.
We are influenced by the people we hang with.
Why wouldn’t we put more thought into that than “I sit next to this dude”.
Experience has taught me than this process of meeting new people is rewarding. We usually think smart thoughts, and find some way to contribute to one anothers pursuits. Undoubtedly, I find myself in conversations with people thinking “I’d love to collaborate with you”. I might even say that sentence aloud, to see if their face lights up also at that idea. Things have happened and continue to happen along that vein. Awesome things.
This is not about networking, career management or “never eating alone” strategies (even though Keith Ferazzi is so right about that). It is about living a good life, and about deciding to be influenced by awesomeness rather than mediocrity.
So who would you put on your list of people to influence your awesomeness? When was the last time you saw them? And what are you going to do about it?