“This country can ill afford to continue to function using less than half of its human resources, brain power, and kinetic energy.”
~ Barbara Jordan, Late Texas Congresswoman
What do these phrases represent? Individuals coming together to support each other to survive: feeding the collective body, recognizing strengths, imparting values, developing norms and honoring boundaries. Being resourceful— a trait or action essential to effective leadership
We need other people; belonging and sharing anchor us. We are each other’s resources in many ways as we tap into our mutual brain power. Generations and cultures thrive on what has passed through and down, joining their gifts in the quest for survival. Communicating with the beat of the drum, voice of the knowledgeable, or the smoke of the fire, a powerful message resonates in this relay of information. And resources are identified, measured and utilized—human, financial, nutritional, or operational.
So what do we do now as we live in the age of warp-speed knowledge and change? Is there a continuance of these time-tested norms for leaders and various entities?
Today followers, likes, and fans show up on our social maps as resources to tap into. How many we have determines our presence, both online and in the global sphere.
The right tools and the strongest support are needed to keep focused in the midst of these innovations. Our balance and perspective in a world of shifts depends on stocking our personal lists so they’re on hand as tools to support our leadership success. Below are three ways to address this reality.
1. The Network: Personal Connections as Supply
Tapping into the brain power of those we encounter professionally or personally serves as a useful strategy for achieving our goals. Gleaned from casual conversations, meetings, or online exchanges, there’s authoritative wealth in sharing resources. Social media sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter create technological connections, allowing us to virtually supply to and receive help from others. Truly, networking rules the way today! This approach is part of the action of the ages: ‘reaching out to touch someone’, as the old telephone ads used to put it.
And keep in mind that networking is a giving and sharing process. In our encounters, we should also look to gather helpful data that could benefit friends, colleagues, or others. Even inside organizations, hunting for the go-to person to get the inside scoop on goings-on and resources is a must. Remember, it’s not just who you know, but who they know, and who they know, and so on. This is the concept of “six degrees of separation,” which states that in this small world after all, we’re probably only six people removed from anyone we need to meet in the world.
2. The Strength of Questioning: Informational Interviewing
If you ask the right question, invariably, you’ll get a useful answer. Such is what happens in informational interviewing. It is just what the title implies: an interview to gather information about career fields, organizations, or positions that may be of interest. When I started my training business, informational interviewing was the process that guided me in speaking with several consultants about the ins and outs of being a sole proprietor. How to find clients, the best places to get updates on the training industry, and other administrative matters were also critical questions in. these exchanges and these contacts were very open to share. Another human dynamic is that we really do like to be asked questions and seen as experts in something.
3. Life and Leadership Matters: Hook-Ups that Help
We can’t know it all or do it all. The key is people, people, people! Others’ assets, connections, and expertise are needed to help us on this leadership journey in work, community or home. As you think about these concepts of resource building, recognize that some may require you to get outside of your sphere of comfort.
Right approaches and interpersonal principles can pay off in engaging others for support. As leaders it’s important to gauge which of these concepts will stretch you to a more beneficial zone. These options also increase the strength of our resource territory. Be seen! Go forth! Learn anew! Move!
Then lead strong and prosper from it!
Parts excerpted from my book, For People of Strength, Soul and Spirit: 7 Guidelines for Life & Career Success, on Amazon in print and Kindle eBook