It amazes me how many people do not actively network. Even more surprising is the limited networking that many students do. For instance, using LinkedIn. If LinkedIn had been around when I was a student, there is no telling where my career would have gone. In my discussions with professionals, there seems to be common excuses for not networking. Here are the top three networking misconceptions I consistently hear:
#1: Networking is for self-promoting schmoozers – Networking isn’t solely the life of those desperate for a job. Networking simply involves making mutual connections. By tapping into our connections, we can share ideas, pass along opportunities, and benefit from one another’s expertise.
#2: Network is for salespeople – Wrong! Our professional success depends on the relationships we build. You may not be a salesperson and you may not be outgoing, but you can’t deny that networking is founded upon relationships. Regardless of your position or personality, you’d be wise to maximize your networking opportunities.
#3: Networking is uncomfortable, forced, and boring – We tend to imagine networking as speed dating awkwardly applied to the professional level. Nothing could be more inaccurate. The best networkers realistically share themselves (their talents, knowledge, resources) to benefit others.
Although the concept of networking has been tainted by mythical misconceptions, wise leaders know the importance of connecting and building relationships for professional success.
I was talking with a group of people the other day when one of them began talking about how much integrity they had and how they strive to do the right thing always. That statement caught me by surprise, because I know this person and have had many discussions concerning their lack of integrity. It made me realize two things.
- If you have to have tell someone you have integrity, you probably don’t.
- Authentic integrity is built within a person’s character through their actions.
Authentic integrity is the foundation of a person’s credibility. Credibility creates confidence and that confidence allows influence.
“Integrity is what we do, what we say, and what we say we do” – Don Gater.
Someone once said,
“You are already of consequence in the world if you are known as a man of strict integrity”.
That’s how essential integrity is in your personal life. In fact, if you have nothing else, authentic integrity will catapult you past everyone else.
Dwight Eisenhower said, “The supreme quality for leadership is unquestionably integrity. Without it, no real success is possible.
I agree with Eisenhower. I cannot emphasize enough about the importance of having authentic integrity if you want true leadership in your life.
Integrity gives you so much as a leader; credibility, trust, confidence, influence and much more.
Be a person of integrity and be a person who people want to follow.
In my personal journey to success, I have identified some statements which have remained true throughout.
- Wealth is the not the sole determination of success
- Being happy should never be the ultimate goal
- Success is for everyone
- Success is different for everyone
- Success requires hard work and commitment
Success always includes growth and opportunity. You need to know where to go in order to grow. What does success look like for you?
Winston Churchill said, “Don’t argue about the difficulties, the difficulties will argue for themselves.”
We all experience difficulties in our personal and professional lives. But what I have learned is how we respond to these difficulties, determines our ability to continue to influence others. Here is how I approach difficulties;
1.Ask “Why?” once and figure out “What now?”
2.Quit whining, nobody cares!
3.Change what you can and accept what you can’t.
4. Remember, life isn’t fair and there are no guarantees.
5. When difficulties threaten to overcome, look for ways to help and serve others
6. Be grateful for what you have. Regardless of how little it may seem.
It can be exhausting to deal with various difficulties. However, you must persevere to conquer the opportunities to influence.