Highly recommended reading for leaders and aspiring leaders


How do some leaders seem to know the right people to get things done? Always know what’s happening? Always seem to move in the right circles?

Chances are that at, an unconscious level, they are fantastic at building and organising personal networks that increase their efficiency in all aspects of their professional advice. And it is a tactic that it is possible to learn.

In an outstanding article for the Harvard Business Review, which I highly recommend to anyone interested in optimising their personal power and effectiveness, Herminia Ibarra and Mark Hunter outline their strikingly simple, yet highly profound theory that those who are the most effective networkers separate their contacts into three separate groups.

  • Operational – the people you need to accomplish your assigned, routine tasks.
  • Personal — kindred spirits outside your organisation who can help you with personal advancement
  • Strategic – people outside your control who will enable you to reach key organisational objectives

They go on to suggest that whilst all three networks are essential, to really succeed leaders must master strategic networking—by interacting regularly with people who can open their eyes to new business opportunities and help them capitalise on them.

In my coaching business I often work with individuals on building their personal power and effectiveness by reaching out and making important connections and by breaking networking down into such a straightforward process you can begin to see how it is possible to learn mastery of this skill at a conscious level – which with practice will allow it to seep into the unconscious over time until it’s as natural as breathing.

Read the full article here (PDF to be uploaded as hyperlink).