Trying to build your personal network? – Are you a hunter or fisherman?

We all know the value of our personal network. Anyone who has found themselves in the market for a job quickly wishes they had a deep network to help them gain employment.  If you already have a job and are vying for a promotion, or to get ahead in some way, you quickly realize a strong internal network is the only way to achieve success. In your personal life you often need to open up your personal “rolodex” (look it up Millennials) and call on someone you know to provide you an answer or a connection to someone that can pull you out of a bind.

Malcolm Gladwell in his best-selling book, “Tipping Point,” describes an important archetype in our society he names a “connector.” The connector is a person who knows how to keep in touch with many people and uses that network to help himself and others.  Connectors are rich in their relationships, and people rely on them to provide answers and help.

Don’t we all need to be connectors in some way?  After all, personal networks are one of the most valuable assets an individual can possess.

How are you going about building your personal network? Are you a hunter or a fisherman?

Hunters pursue their quarry, fisherman attract their quarry. Hunters stalk, pursue, and lie in wait to ambush their prey. In doing so they most often scare their quarry off.  If a person, or animal, feels perused they run! Human nature is such that if you feel someone is trying to track you down, you avoid the person.

On the contrary, a fisherman patiently figures ways to attract quarry to them. When chumming the waters, a fisherman attracts a fish by offering something they want and need, and in this way does not scare them off. A fisherman realizes that when bait attracts one fish, others can be found. In this way a fisherman builds a network that willingly comes to him.

So, as you go about building your personal network ask yourself how you are going about it and how you can do it better.  Are you finding things in common with other people? Are you connecting people with others who are in the same school of fish and don’t even know it? Are you using your network to help others solve their problems so they are ready to help you solve yours when the time comes?

It is by becoming a fisherman that you will best build your personal network and tap into it when you need it most!