Deep personal relationships, not large superficial networks, are the foundation of leadership. Even if you’re a star performer, your progress will stall if you try to go it alone.
Every leader has their moment of realization about just how much more can be achieved through collaboration, and every leader needs a core group of strong connections to stay grounded. They are your close collaborators and the people who inspire, challenge, and motivate you to make bold, fearless moves. They’re the people you partner with to make a larger impact than you can make alone.
These relationships are utterly essential to your success—especially when you’re leading without positional authority. Developing these bonds, in a mindful and meaningful way, is not only part of your job. It is the real work of leadership.
Georgene Huang is CEO and co-founder of Fairygodboss (and one of the rockstar leaders who endorsed my book!) Georgene wrote, “There’s power in surrounding yourself with people who see the leader in you. A strong network of supporters is key to accomplishing amazing things.”
Mobilize your leadership support network
During my most recent leadership webinar, I asked 440 participants to share, in three (-ish!) words or less, “What is one action you’ll commit to taking to mobilize your leadership support network?” Here’s what some had to say:
- Actively build relationships
- Assess my support squad
- Be a connector
- Be less afraid
- Be more available
- Be proactive!
- Build a personal board of directors
- Build authentic relationships
- Build trust
- Cocktail date with a “sponsor” friend
- Communicate more often
- Connect more deeply
- Connect outside my organization
- Identify supportive people
- Map my network
- Offer support
- Offer value
- Proactively build my network
- Put myself out there
- Reach out
- Rebuild broken trust
- Regular check-ins
- Respond, support, and communicate
- Schedule networking meetings
- Start new networks
- Start conversations
- Trust, communicate, and motivate
- Zoom “joyful hour”
What’s one action you can take to mobilize your support network?