Lessons from Networking

The past few months of full-time networking have been a treasure trove of lessons from the amazing people in my growing network.  It’s been a blessing to see unconnected comments coalesce in time and concept to crystallize important lessons.  Before I share a brief update about my search, I want to share one such insight.


A wise friend recently shared with me the importance of having relationships in very circle of life (business, community, church, family, etc.) that provide for stability and richness (or profits).  He advised that stability arises from the breadth of my relationships in any circle while richness arises from the depth of a much smaller subset of relationships in that same circle.  Deep relationships must arise from those with whom we interact frequently.  However, stability flows from interactions that occur much less frequently and, therefore, require different relationship nurturing behaviors.


I’ve been committed since the onset of this opportunity search to serve the people in my network.  I’m not always successful at achieving that goal, but it remains my first intent.  Despite that purposefully, servant-minded attitude, it still feels awkward at times.  Why?  I’ve come to realize that I’ve not stayed in touch with many of the people in my network; so my approach is the equivalent of attempting to make a simultaneous deposit and withdrawal to the emotional bank account of the relationship.  Whether it’s my bank or a relationship, a deposit has to “clear” before it’s available for withdrawal.  That concept suggests one party in a relationship must take the initiative to make a deposit with no immediate attempted withdrawal.


Therefore, a means toward enhancing the stability of relationships requires making frequent deposits that create value for the other person.  I appreciate that this is a simple (and maybe obvious) lesson, but one that’s admittedly difficult to apply.  This note (and others like it to follow) is a first step toward purposefully applying that lesson in my own life.  

2 thoughts on “Lessons from Networking

  1. Gary,
    I enjoyed reading your great article it was written beautifully. You used several deep thoughtful phrases such as “Despite that purposefully, servant-minded attitude…” it draw me to read it more.
    Reading this remind me of an example that Jim Cicel used in his book Nurturing Customer Relationships. A Chines famer has to labor for 5 years nurturing the seed of black bamboo tree before any harvest. For 5 years the fields are just mud and not much to show for, but he patiently water it and feed it every day, but right near the end of the 5 years a green shoots of the earth and in 30 days will grow around 60 feet. The black bamboo is a valuable construction material in Pacific. So, five years of hard work and nothing to show for but at last in a rapid time a fantastic return.
    Your point of continues effort to make deposits in our relationships with a servant minded attitude is hard work but I know and believe that it will work. Thank you again for sharing your article and I hope you keep writing.

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