But more to the point, it’s important who you GET to know. You may know many people, but are they the right people. And further, do you have a deep, trusting relationship with the right people? Who will go out of their way to help you? Who wants to help you? How much do they know about you? What soundbites will they share? How influential are they? Who is in their circle of influence?
Then ask yourself, how do you invest your limited networking and relationship-building time. Like a portfolio of investments, time in the right people will pay off like money in the right stocks.
It’s important to get to know people who share a similar set of values, principles and characteristics to which I aspire. Grow your network and career around people with high integrity, good work ethic, grounded perspective, and a history of success. Prioritize your time to help others in this ‘bulls eye’ of influence and characteristics that are headed in the direction you want to head.
There are a handful of high integrity, P&L grounded, middle-brained, pragmatic, big thinkers that I’ve worked for and with. They’ve had success and talent follow them wherever they go. I’ve prioritized my time to get to know them better, foregoing time with powerful yet ego-driven, political micro-managers that I’ve also worked for and with. I want to invest my time in relationships and a growing circle of influence with who I will want around me in the future, and vice versa. I believe the first set of people is much more likely to see long-term success. And moreover, as my career follows that set of people, I’ll enjoy the journey so much more.