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Kudos, Congrats, and Hats-off to you – my network. I just heard that you have generated six new jobs for others since the beginning of 2012. That is so cool! I appreciate that you are willing to accept a recommendation, word of encouragement and invitation to connect when it comes your way. I value that you recognize those limited requests are made with care and that you in turn do the same.

Tim Sanders recently updated my favorite book (also mentioned below). His second update is my favorite. Indeed, I can consider you – my network – a part of my net worth. And now you have added to the net worth of at least six other people!

Quick caveat: unless we were the person being interviewed, doing the interviewing or the hiring manager, we did not directly get any one of these six individuals their job. We simply connected them to someone or to an opportunity. They were the ones who went through the interviews and impressed their skills and qualifications on the hiring manager. They got themselves the jobs. I find it valuable to remember this. In a network (of lovecats) nothing is owed.

When I started building relationships, I didn’t think, “I’m going to take your business card so that one day, I can refer someone to you for a job.” But I did grow my network in various industries and I do (try to) stay in contact and up-to-date with what is going on in their personal or professional life. After reading Tim Sanders’ “Love is the Killer App” I started doing so with more purpose. The book theorizes that by following three simple principles, you can benefit others:

  • Grow your knowledge
  • Grow your network
  • And share both selflessly with your network

Imagine the potential when you add value to someone else through knowledge or connections and take yourself out of the equation. It’s pretty amazing to watch it happen.

Consider your own network. Are you being purposeful with who you include? Are the right people in your network? Do you need to clean it up #betterinbetterout style? How are you managing those connections – from the contact database where you list details about the relationship to stewarding the relationship itself?

Why do any of those things matter? Because they may matter a great deal to someone else down the road.