Why Networking Is Good For The World, And How To Do It Well
As an introvert, I hate networking in the cocktail party sense of the word. It's awkward, full of boring small talk, and my feet usually hurt by the time I get to that part of the day. This will be a shock to many people who know me, because I also love being - and being known as - a super connector. How could I possibly have all these connections to make without loving networking?
I get over my discomfort to network because I know that my work on this planet - reawakening the workforce to the incredible power of aligning our work with purpose - requires me to learn from, collaborate with, and sell to a wide variety of people. So I have to get out of my comfort zone, attend a wide range of events, and approach people who I don't already know.
These days, all of our work would benefit from a broader range of inputs. Solutions to the biggest problems we're facing, whether extreme weather, income inequality, lagging educational performance, or skills gaps in the workforce, require collaboration across the public, private, and nonprofit sectors and holistic solutions addressing health, food, infrastructure, and human bias. Companies need to break down silos between departments and business units. Industries need to cross-pollinate to help understand each other how they're dealing with today's changing context. And startups have lessons about innovation and agility for legacy firms, as much as the latter can teach young companies about durability and process.
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