The ability to influence others in informal ways rather than solely exercising your positional/hierarchical power is very important in today’s workplace. And the simple truth is that this ability to influence without authority is directly tied to the networks you build in your professional life (and often in your personal life too).

If this is so simple, why is influencing without authority the number one cited problem leaders have when they show up to our leadership programs? (I especially see this in LDP®.)

Two reasons:

  1. Leaders underestimate the power of their own network.
  2. Leaders often have lousy information about how to build, maintain, and leverage a network effectively.

To clear up some of this bad information, here are some network truths that I’ve discovered that will boost your knowledge about your network and help you become a better influencer across your organization.

  1. Your leadership network should be open, where many people in your core network do not know each other.  This provides you with unique information.
  2. Your leadership network should be diverse, containing relationships that cross important boundaries in your work and profession – think peers, thought leaders, and colleagues from a different generation.  This provides you with diverse information.
  3. Your leadership network should include lots of strong ties – people who have your best interest in mind. This allows you to believe and trust the unique/diverse information you receive.

Want to diagnose your network? Download our free leadership network diagnostic here and watch these videos on how to take, analyze, and make changes to your leadership network.

Read part 2 of this series, A Leader’s Network Part 2: Your Network Should Change as Your Situation Changes

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