A recent Harvard Business Review article asked the question, “Are you sponsor-worthy?” The article shared the example of an employee who gave “110 percent” but didn’t focus her efforts on people who would invest in her. While her efforts were commended, senior leaders with power and influence were not members of her network of advocates. As a result, she found herself stuck in what she called “permanent lieutenant syndrome.”
I see this happen often, as many of my clients fall into the trap of thinking their good work is enough. It often takes people a while to realize that who they know is just as important as the quality of their work. As they shy away from office politics, they overlook the fact that their relationships give them access to resources, information and influence they need to get things done.
When was the last time you took a hard look at your own network and assessed it against the areas that drive high performance and high satisfaction? Research shows that the six key dimensions include expertise, personal support, power, purpose, development and balance? And remember that the quality of your network matters far more than the number of people that you know. At the end of the day, a balanced, high quality network can make a huge difference in your ability to get results and advance, and increase your job satisfaction.
If this is an area where you could use some help, check out the module in my WOW! Women on the Way to Peak Performance ProgramSM. Entitled “Building a Network of Advocates”, the module offers tools to assess your network against critical dimensions so you understand where you have gaps and know where to focus. It also gives you specific strategies to start making changes today. You can download this module from my website and the complete program when it’s convenient for you.
Taking time to assess who is in your corner can mean the difference between giving your all for nothing or making sure your efforts are recognized and applauded.