06 Sep Your Power Circle Equals Your “Power Network” – Not All Network Contacts are Equal
As business professionals – entrepreneurs, solopreneurs, and corporate executives – we move quickly to grow our business. It’s seldom we have time – or the choice – to consider with whom we spend our time. We busily navigate through our day picking up friends, colleagues, and associates along the way without much time for reflection on how those relationships impact our business and our brand.
We’re busy. And many times our focus is on the daily rush of activity and putting out fires, and less on the development of the strategic relationships that should be part of our daily focus.
And I do mean daily. As Jim Rohn once said, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”
What does this mean? Well, for starters it means that not all network contacts are equal. Your network contains a small number of people who have proportionately more influence being connected to you and you with them. You are their connectors and they are your connectors…this is your “Power Network” – or your Power Circle.
These high-value connections are guaranteed to accelerate your business growth and personal success if developed and nurtured on a regular basis.
WHO IS IN YOUR POWER CIRCLE?
Your Power Circle is made up of powerful relationships built on trust and collaboration. Here are some common traits that make up your Power Circle:
•Trusted allies that you align with
•Shared common values
•No competing interests
•Synergistic benefits for both you and your “Power Network”
•On-going relationships that get stronger with time
BENEFITS OF HAVING A POWER CIRCLE
Similar to that of a mastermind group, your Power Circle can have a large impact on the way you do business. Just as “you are what you eat,” you really are representative of who you spend most of your time with. This isn’t just about getting ahead and reaching the pinnacle of success in business, it is also about reaching your own full potential as a business professional by reaching out to others and helping them grow as well. Here are some mutual benefits of having a strong Power Circle:
•Constant flow of new, qualified business leads
•Cross-networking and promotional opportunities
•Trusted relationship and support
•Confidence and peace of mind when making referrals
•More opportunities to tap into an extended network
•An opportunity to save time, costs and resources with better results
YOUR CIRCLE OF INFLUENCE – HOW TO CULTIVATE IT
Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither will your Power Circle. A strong Power Circle doesn’t happen overnight. It starts with a clear understanding of your business and a focus on developing mutually beneficial business relationships as a part of your growth strategy.
It happens by taking a long-term approach to build relationships, and by being willing to serve others. When you take this approach, the results can be staggering.
Here are 5 steps to get your started:
1. Know your Business Purpose
You need to be able to articulate the value of your business and the standards that surround your products and services. You also need to have a clear understanding of your ideal client. Communicating this information correctly to your Power Circle will help to assure alignment and provide sustainable healthy working relationships.
2. Identify who’s in your circle
You don’t always have to start from scratch when building your Power Circle. Think of everyone currently in your network – family members, friends, business colleagues, clients, suppliers, networking groups, associations – and narrow the list by identifying those who stand out as someone you want as a trusted advisor, or someone you want to know better. Then, identify your business opportunities and plan on meeting and developing stronger relationships with those individuals.
3. Identify where the gaps are and fill them
Review your Power Circle list and identify who you are missing and who you would like to nurture. Do some research and use current network contacts to strengthen the interaction with those individuals. New connections will take time. You need to develop trust. Social media can be a great first connection and you can use your current circle to provide introductions.
4. Maintain relationships and drive value
As we all know, relationships take some work. And the same goes for your Power Circle. Develop a plan to cultivate, manage, and add value to your Power Circle. Always ensure both parties in the relationship clearly understand each other’s business. Also consider how often you will make contact with each person and how you can maintain open, honest, and transparent communication.
5. Monitor, manage, reward
As with most things, you have to keep a pulse on your Power Circle to ensure it is functioning the way you intended it to. Develop feedback sources you can consult with to ensure the relationship is working. Meet with your Power Circle to explore ideas to further build the relationship, but don’t keep score – give before you receive and keep giving. Also, don’t forget to reward and recognize your Power Circle when and where it makes sense (informally or formally, via email contact, LinkedIn note, lunch, or even a gift card).