By Tim Sosbe
You’ve no doubt heard this quote before: “Your network is your net worth.” It’s a true sentiment of the business world in general, and life sciences in particular. Connections with colleagues inside your companies and elsewhere in the industry can lead to the valuable exchange of information, to heightened career opportunities and to success as a sales training professional.
Sharing the importance of networking and creating networking opportunities are among the missions of LTEN, and it’s a theme you’ll see reflected at this year’s 44th LTEN Annual Conference, taking place June 1-4, in Phoenix, AZ. Among the highlights of the upcoming conference will be the June 2 keynote from noted business author Keith Ferrazzi, the foremost expert in business development relationships and author of the bestsellers “Never Eat Alone” and “Who’s Got Your Back.”
“Your relationships in your life will determine your career advancement personally,” Ferrazzi said. “Your relationships in your life will determine your ability to influence and bring your ideas to the forefront of your organization. The more relationships you have that are strong with the constituencies that you serve, the more they will allow you to take risks and push the boundaries and to serve your people.”
As learning professionals, Ferrazzi said, it’s critical to network and build relationships that also keep you learning and growing. As an example. Ferrazzi cited the famed 70/20/10 rule of learning.
“Only 10 percent of learning comes from instruction,” he said. “We need to get out there and build an informal network for informal learning as well.”
Not surprisingly, with networking as with many things, it’s easier said than done. It doesn’t always come naturally, Ferrazzi said.
“It feels risky and dangerous to most people, because it requires us, when you do it well, to push the comfort zones of your social comfort with people, to take risks, to reach out to people more intimately, reach out more effectively, reach out more generously,” he said. “It’s not just a transactional activity, it’s a very relational activity. We’re asking people to accelerate and connect with people authentically, but more purposefully.”
But again, as with so many things, it has to be done.
“It’s risky and people are sometimes afraid of it,” Ferrazzi said. “But that doesn’t mean you can ignore it.”
Indeed, he said, professionals need to recognize the importance of networking and push through it.
“I don’t care if you’re afraid, do it anyway if you want to be good at your job,” he said. “If you want to be mediocre, then ignore it. That’s the way the world works and that’s the way our careers work and you’re going to have to do it.”
In his LTEN keynote presentation on Tuesday, June 2, Ferrazzi will offer a process and a plan on how to build relationships. He’ll share specific actions that can be taken to network with the three to five most important people in your organization to advance your network and achieve your goals.
“We need to put ourselves out there and recognize that just getting your work done is not necessarily going to build that position of influence,” Ferrazzi said.
Find out more information about and register for the 44th LTEN Annual Conference at http://ltenconference.com/.
Tim Sosbe is editor of Focus magazine and editorial director for LTEN. Email Tim at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Learn more about Keith Ferrazzi, Ferrazzi Greenlight, free resources, books, tools and more at http://keithferrazzi.com/