HBR: Keep Your Network Small and Meaningful


We didn’t write the book on industry networking but we read more about it than anyone else. Nets work. Here are our favorite ‘why network’ quotes:

  • Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has. — Margaret Mead
  • Your true core network will rarely number more than a dozen people. — Tom Peters
  • The computer revolution missed a step. When companies went from enterprise computing to individual computing, they jumped over the small-group level, where the preponderance of the work takes place. — HBR
  • AAPN is the only organization I know of that allows its members to learn from themselves.   — Carlos Arias, Winds Group
  • Those with longer term relationships make more money
  • Marketing is a contact sport

Keep Your Network Small and Meaningful
June 15, 2018, Harvard Business Review

The research on networking is clear: High-quality connections are more valuable than weak ties. That means a bigger network is not necessarily better.

If your network isn’t helping you forge deeper, more authentic relationships, it may be time to shrink it. Start by taking stock of your priorities. Is how you’re spending your time aligned with your goals? For example, does that monthly lunch with a distant contact add value to your life?Does that conference you’ve attended for years actually help you? If not, drop it.

Next, think about the relationships you want to cultivate. What types of people do you want to spend more time with? Are they the types of people you’re currently devoting your energy to? If not, make a plan to change who you’re investing time in. As you shrink your inner circle, you’ll begin thinking of yourself as the architect of your environment and your career.

Adapted from “Why Your Inner Circle Should Stay Small, and How to Shrink It,” by Scott Gerber


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