Diversity Creates Strength, Singularity Promotes Individuality, and Utilizing Both is Strategic Networking...
Diversity Creates Strength, Singularity Promotes Individuality, and Utilizing Both is Strategic Networking! - Curtis Smith
Okay, so let's get down to the brass-tacks! Networking is still alive, and only picking up speed with each and every day that passes. If you haven't gotten on board with increasing your networking power, than you are losing out on a plethora of opportunities. I find it very interesting how many professionals I speak to that feel as though their ability to grow will solely rely on the advice of experienced individuals from within their particular industry, field, or platform. This is a major mistake on any professional's part! AGAIN, this is a MAJOR mistake on ANY PROFESSIONAL'S part! Let me explain by detailing the quote that I like to use, as to how I view strategic networking.
Diversity is more than just the differences in any one person or group. It does not just define the existence of those differences either. Diversity actually creates strength! Think about it, it is no different than any sports team. You have multiple players, who all have separate strengths. Whether it is your power forward in basketball, quarterback in football, or goalie in soccer. Every position represents a certain specialized skill or strength required in that game for each and every team playing that sport. When you actually choose to look at the varied strengths and levels of expertise of professionals from all over the business world's spectrum, you will see these thin little wires that connect portions of their expertise and experience to yours. I believe it was Albert Einstein that stated, "True insanity is trying the same thing over and over expecting different results," or something to that effect. That statement couldn't be any more true! If your industry continues to do the same thing over and over again, expecting different results, then obviously they are merely going insane. However, they will need to look outside of the box in order to find a new method in which to gain the new results they are after. How do you think they do that? I assure you that it is not done by only looking at the ways in which their company, their industry, or experts only in their field have done things in the past or as of current. They will branch out to various fields and industries that might utilize similar systems, parts, or posses similar requirements to see how they are doing things. By utilizing the differences of expertise found in these varied industries, they are able to add to their current "bank of knowledge and understanding". In other words, you can not learn something new, if you don't learn something new! After saying all of that, it all boils down to one main point, diversity creates strength (Just ask the Bulls, Heat, or Cavaliers!). However, if differences (diversity) point to others, what points to us as a singular person or entity?
That part is simple, singularity promotes that individuality. It is the singular concentration on one's particular experience, expertise, training, and/or service, product. This is where we shine as individuals. However, if we spend so much time trying to know a little about a lot, it is truly hard to define that singularity within ourselves, and the true contribution that we bring to the table. It is easier to bring more significance to the team when you are able to bring a lot of knowledge about a particular specialty. Why do you think specialists get paid as highly as they do? It is because they bring a concentrated level of expertise and knowledge to what they do. Nonetheless, we as individuals must learn what our strengths our, where we excel the most, and how to harness those strengths; nurturing those items within ourselves on a daily basis. At the end of the day, the ultimate goal we should have for ourselves as individuals is to be the best and most agile player in our separate positions that we can be. Why? For the very simple reasoning that in order for the team that you play for to be the strongest that it can be, you must do your part individually to ensure what you are bringing to the table is at its peak performance in the now. Every person must do their part to allow for the collective to work as one unit. However, it is very difficult, if not impossible at times, for the collective to function properly if an individual piece is not working at its best. Take the engine in my Audi A6 for example. The engine inside of my car depended on each piece within it to work at its top performance in order to continue to run properly, providing the necessary power to run the vehicle. Nonetheless, when one part stopped working to its needed potential and output, it caused a cataclysmic chain of events to occur, which ultimately rendered that engine useless. I was forced into purchasing a new engine entirely. So, the next time that you feel that your part in the process of what you do is small and meaningless, remember that every part is important, and if just one part of the process isn't working at its true potential for output, then it ultimately disrupts the entire efficiency of the collective body.
This is the exact reason why strategic networking, in my opinion, is the embodiment of utilizing both diversity and singularity within any system, organization, or process. If we are able to extend ourselves and our ways of finding new information to place into action, then the capabilities that we shall possess are limitless. Why would they be limitless? For the mere fact that we are not limiting ourselves to how or what we utilize to gain the information, experience, understanding, and enlightenment to better not only ourselves, but our systems, processes, and organizations as a whole. Take a successful financial adviser for example. In order for a financial adviser to be successful, he must be able to have the proper resources and knowledge in which to advise his/her clients. Are we so naive as to believe that each successful financial adviser simply has all of this information themselves? No! Instead, they utilize the experience and expertise of other financial, legal, and strategic planning & development professionals (just to name a few). In order for all of us as professionals to grow both professionally and personally, we must utilize the power of strategic networking, otherwise, we are drastically limiting ourselves and the success that we and everything that we are a part of can obtain.
All-in-all, we are the drivers of our own success. Only you and I can make the choice to take action, and put strategic networking into our daily routines. Not to mention, that we are the keepers of ourselves, and can not expect for others to create our success. The true value in networking is that it allows for us as individuals and groups to take action in bettering ourselves and everything that we do. If you only network when it suits your needs, then you have already missed out on the true value of networking. Each and every last one of us should see the necessity for networking on a daily basis, and the empowerment gained from taking such initiative. In closing, if you have been looking for a result, but can't seem to think of the solution that will create such results, then you haven't been strategically networking on a daily basis, and until you do, you will continue to find yourself frustrated and disoriented in what you are doing. For the blindness of a man is not held solely within his eyes, but the vision of his mind the same.