The rise of social media has made networking easier, but are your connections just quantity over quality? In an era where jobs are filled before they're advertised and unthought-of collaborations appear out of nowhere, how do you ensure that you have the right people in your network?
According to internationally-acclaimed entrepreneur and Fortune 500 mentor Janine Garner, it's time to declutter and invest in those who actually add value to your professional and personal development. In the new book, It's Who You Know, Garner shows why you only need twelve key people in your network who provide the strength, diversity and opportunities to help you achieve the success you crave.
She explains who you need to know, how to get to know them and how to make value a two-way street. In the book readers learn how to:
With action plans, checklists and an online diagnostic tool, It's Who You Know provides a practical handbook to build a small, strategic and successful network that works for you.
Sydney-based Janine Garner is an internationally-acclaimed entrepreneur and Fortune 500 mentor, keynote speaker and author. She is a partner at Thought Leaders Global, which helps clever people to become commercially smart, and the founder and CEO of the LBDGroup, a networking community that connects like-minded women together to help them achieve extraordinary growth. Janine is passionate about bringing brilliant people together to achieve remarkable results through collaboration, connection and influential leadership. She is also the author of From Me To We: Why Commercial Collaboration Will Future Proof Business, Leaders and Personal Success (Wiley 2015).
It's Who You Know
Author: Janine Garner
Question: Why did you write It's Who You Know?
Janine Garner: We all need to get back in control of our network! We are connected through our smartphone, the internet, instant messaging and social media. Yet most of us say we feel more disconnected than ever before. We're connected to the digital world rather than to the real world and each other.
Networking relies on two-way communication: the mutual exchange of information and value. The right connections are capable of transforming our thinking, challenging our behaviours and working collectively to build our positioning, elevate our profile and push us to achieve more. That is my aspiration for everyone who reads this book.
Question: How can we locate our own pit crew?
Janine Garner: At the heart of a successful network lies the concept of value exchange – a mutually beneficial process that relies on more than just a transaction of a business card, email address or phone number. It's time to get curious and think about organising your network, diversifying your connections and investing in people who will support your growth and future dreams.
Think about what skills and insights you have to share and actively exchange value with others. Develop a network of you that includes:
Board of advisors – people that will bring out the best in you
Intelligence bank – people that will teach you, share knowledge and sustain your capabilities and market relevance over the long term
Marketing machine – people that will champion you and your cause.
It is important to have a Pit Crew in your network because they:
Care about you as much as your goals and dreams
Connect you to people that matter and makes introductions that count
Keep you balanced so you live in the here and now as much as the future
Keep you match-fit for sustained energy over the long term
Ensure you are balancing your career needs with personal needs and caring for the important relationships in your life
Encourage you to be more and to embrace who you are
Check in with you regularly
Ask, -How are you?'
Having a Pit Crew in your network is essential to your growth and success.
Question: How can we know if its time to spring clean our networks?
Janine Garner: Networking is all about connecting, yet the way we're going about it now is all wrong! So many of us avoid networking because we see it as exactly that " hard work. Most of our connections are superficial and transactional. We go to events that have little relevance or value for us, and hang out with the same like-minded circle of people. This breeds laziness, stifles growth and limits potential. Many will move companies, cities or countries during the course of their careers and have to start again. For others they may reach a tipping point in their careers when they have to rethink themselves, their roles, their network and sometimes even their friendships. You need people who understand the path you are on, especially when it changes and this is where having the Network of You is critical.
Question: How can we use your book to identify who is holding us back from success?
Janine Garner: It may seem unlikely that you would associate with someone who doesn't support you or your work, but often their negative impact won't be immediately evident. It is only with time and experience that you begin to recognise the subtle interventions that keep you small, or behaviours that are incongruous with the lifestyle you actually want to lead or the person you want to become. Knowing who to cut from your network is as important as knowing who you keep and in my book I share the 12 shadow archetypes that you need to watch out for:
the Burners – who want you to become less
the Underminers – who want you to care less
the Judgers – who want you to be less
the Fighters who want you to do less
Question: What do you hope readers take from It's Who You Know?
Janine Garner: I'm encouraging you to throw out society's expectations and what you feel you -should' be doing, and instead start to think smart and strategically.
You'll review your network as it is now to determine:
what you are doing that is and isn't working
who is in your network now and who should be
who is adding value and who is draining your energy
how to leverage a key network " a Nexus " of only 12 key people and personalities.
It's full of tools, skills and inspirational stories to help you master the art of real and influential networking in a noisy and disconnected online world. You'll workshop your own personal situation through checklists and resources. This will empower you to take control of your network and nurture and maintain the relationships that matter on an ongoing basis.
Interview by Brooke Hunter