Wright Foundation | January 27, 2016

How To Use Your Network
to Increase Your Net Worth

Just like the saying goes, “It’s a small world after all.” We’re all connected in one way or another. Discovering and building on those connections is a powerful way to boost your network—and your career.


When many of us think of networking, we think of the typical schmoozing and “work the room” events: shallow, hollow interactions where we hand out business cards. Wouldn’t it be more powerful if you truly LISTENED to someone at a networking event, and took the time to get to know them? If you could walk away with ONE new person with whom you were strategically aligned toward a shared vision, it would make the time and energy spent at the event worth it.

So what about your network? You probably have a LinkedIn profile, a Facebook page, and connections through your office, church and neighborhood. Ask yourself: of those people, how many understand you on a deeper level and share your values and mission? We’re often drawn to those with whom we share a connection, and you just might be surprised how many of those connections you can build on when you really take the time to engage and connect.

A few months ago, communications guru John Davidoff of Davidoff Mission-Driven Business Strategy (my buddy) came into our studio and shared his insights on mission-driven networking. He told a story about how, during the course of just a few lines of conversation, he was able to find a shared connection with someone who had attended the same upstate New York journalism camp as his brother. Through that connection, he was able to build a relationship with that person, plus, they found they were both driven toward a similar mission.

Missions are powerful stuff when it comes to networking. They help us engage and understand how we’re working toward the same outcomes, shared goals and quests.

The Incredible Value of a Common Vision and Mission

Whether you have an office team working on a sales project or you’re working with a client to help them realize their potential and work toward their vision of success, you can tap into the power of understanding a vision. A vision is the picture of your ideal outcome, should your goals and mission align. It’s value-driven. It pushes you toward your achievement and optimizes your performance.

At Wright Living, we’ve devoted ourselves to helping others bring out their best and realize the power of human potential—you, too, can (and should) make helping others part of your mission. All powerful leaders have a mission and vision that they understand, that they can articulate, and that they review often.

One of the suggestions John had (and one of the things we do here at Wright Living) is to repeat your mission at every office meeting and every company function. John has his people repeat their mission every Monday as a way to keep their week’s trajectory on course.

Mission is a powerful driver. It guides all you do. One of your make-or-break moments with your clients is when you show your ability to understand and articulate their mission back to them. This is what separates the “men from the boys,” so to speak. Find the commonalities you share.

Like a Venn diagram, the way your mission, vision and values overlap with your client’s mission, vision and values will be the foundation for your communication. That’s how to build your network. It can be the most powerful tool in your arsenal.

When Your Mission Differs

Not every client (and certainly not every employee) is going to align with you. Listen to the complaints, criticisms and negative talk because there may be valuable truth underneath. The guy you want to “shut up” in the meeting may be telling you just the thing you need to hear—it may be exactly what you need to work on to elevate your business.

When it becomes necessary to steer the conversation or redirect, don’t make it personal. We always like to tell people: when you bring up a problem, you’re responsible for finding the solution. Hold yourself to that. It’s not about bitching and moaning over gripes, it’s about discussing the problem, understanding if it conflicts with the company’s vision, and working on a solution.

There are also times when an employee’s values and vision just won’t sync up with the company’s vision. In that case, what a powerful gift to be able to “liberate” them to find a place where they’re better aligned. So often, it’s seen as a negative thing when someone moves on from their job. But how amazing is it to be in a position to do some reflection and move toward something you really want?

Real Human Connections

Whenever you work with someone, employee, colleague or potential clients, find out what commonalities you share. Engage with them and get to the heart of communication. Work to find balance in each conversation—where you’re listening to what they’re saying and you truly hear them.

Take risks and see where you can help people. We hold back on truly engaging with others because of our own insecurity or because we don’t feel we have enough value. Instead, put yourself out there. Let go of those limiting beliefs and make it a goal to find out where your values overlap.

It’s always a goal of ours to find ways to have greater outcomes. With this goal comes greater responsibilities and yes, great risks. Continue to develop yourself and work toward making the connection with those around you. Help others find ways to bring out their best selves and you will also bring out your own.

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Want to boost your career? If you’d like to learn more about what the Wright Foundation for the Realization of Human Potential has to offer check out:

Want to improve your sales? The Wright Sales Program is a hands-on, experiential program that provides sales professionals with an opportunity to boost their sales performance through the application of social and emotional intelligence to their selling techniques. [Learn more!]

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Wright Living is a division of the Wright Foundation for the Realization of Human Potential, a leadership institute located in Chicago, Illinois. Wright Living performative learning programs are integrated into the curriculum at Wright Graduate University.