Phil Willburn – Networked Leadership

3 Key Network Principles in about 3 Minutes

There have a lot of requests recently to find new ways to get at this content related to networks and leadership. A couple of us at CCL have been working on short videos as a way to briefly give an overview of some key principles (check out CCL’s youtube page and also my buddy Nick Petrie on the future trends in leadership development).

In this video I try to explain the three key network principles of high-performing leaders in about 3 minutes. Yes I know it’s short, but our attention spans are getting shorter right? So it might be long for some of you.


Also, I’m expecting to release a white paper at CCL based on these network principles for the upcoming SHRM conference. Unfortunately/fortunately CCL marketing people didn’t like the original names for the three key principles, so below is a quick overview of each and the re-phraseing that the marketing Guru’s at CCL are doing to it … to be honest, they do sounds better – it basically captures the same thing.

3 Key Network Principles of High Performing Leaders

Structural Diversity (or open)

Good networks are open. Open networks are those where the people you know are not all connected to each other. This creates what is called “structural diversity” of a leader’s network. Leaders with open networks are more likely to hear new information before others and are better able to merge dissimilar ideas and capitalize on opportunities that require this integration. They tend perform better, are promoted more rapidly, enjoy greater career mobility, and adapt to change more effectively

Cross Critical Boundaries (or diverse)

Good networks are diverse. Connections that cross critical boundaries in the organization provide additional diversity – and many of the same advantages of open networks. Much of the work of leadership involves working across vertical, horizontal, stakeholder, demographic, and geographic boundaries for group and organizational success. Individual leader’s network connections form the bridges that span these boundaries and allow for collective action.

 Quality Relationships  (or deep)

Good networks are deep. Leaders who build deep, quality relationships with others are able to exchange information, resources, and skills with individuals from different backgrounds. These deep relationships provide valuable perspective and resources, including social support and camaraderie in the workplace. Building high-quality relationships with others is estimated to be four times the predictor of performance than other network predictors.

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