Leadership Networks: One-size does not fit all
Most leadership networking training I have experienced gives leaders the same advice regardless of where they are in their career: Grow and diversify your networks. While this is generally good advice, it is not specific enough to really help anyone. New network science research shows that a more customized approach to building a network is necessary. Approaches differ depending on a leader’s career level and job experience.
Leaders at different stages of their careers have different networking challenges, to which the one-size fits all advice of most networking training does not apply. Instead, a better approach is to understand the predictable conditions of a leader at a given career stage and discover the networking challenges and solutions to that level and the “world” from which they are operating. When these challenges are not addressed, they often lead to predicable network failures.
When I teach leaders about creating a network strategy, I typically lead in with the slide below. It outlines the challenges and solutions needed for a leader’s network strategy based on the different stages in their career.
In this series of posting I will discuss each of these levels and talk more specifically about the context in which these challenges arise and potential implications for the leader if they don’t change their networking strategy. This one size fits all advice of building effective networks no longer works for leaders throughout their career.