A Person of Value
I enjoy this quote by Albert Einstein, “Try not to become a man of success, but rather try to become a man of value.”
I have heard this quote often over the last few years as I have started this coaching and mentoring journey. While the overall meaning has remained the same, some people have different ideas about what it means to be a person of value.
To me, a person of value is a connector. What do I mean by that statement? For me it means that I am alert or mindful of the needs, wants and desires of my network and I try to look for people in my network who can assist each other.
My personality type makes it easy for me to look for ways to strengthen my network. As a business and personal coach, I understand that many people are not wired this way. However, I do think that everyone can be mindful of other’s needs and opportunities to make connections on behalf of others.
How does being a connector add value to those around you and in your network? You accomplish this by demonstrating that you are mindful or concerned about them and what is going on in their business or personal life. By connecting people in your network, you demonstrate that you are paying attention to what they are needing and you are looking to build relationships that bring value to them without looking for anything in return other than their mutual success.
Here are four simple steps that I use to help build up my network.
1) Find out their needs and goals. Talk with the members of your network and people who you are meeting for the first time. What is their story? What challenges are they working on? What are they trying to accomplish in the short or long term?
2) Think about your network and not just yourself. I have met many people who when they are discussing someone else’s dreams, desires or challenges only think about how they can personally help. To me that is a mistake. Not because you should not try to help or provide ideas but you have an entire business/personal network that as a whole has more skills or access to solutions than you do. Why not think about how your network can add value to this contact?
3) Take action. As soon as you can, work to schedule a sit down introduction with the people who you feel could be of value to each other. If a face-to-face meeting is not practical then a warm email introduction is the next best thing. Your job as a connector and person of value is not to make the two parties work together but rather give them the opportunity to realize the value that they have by connecting.
4) Do not expect anything in return. Regardless of your definition of a person of value; it is not about what you get out of the connection, but what you put into it. If you approach being a connector with the mindset of immediate recognition or reward then you really are not trying to bring value to your connections but rather value to yourself.
Coach’s Wrap Up:
Being a person of value is as much a mindset as it is a personality trait. There is no excuse for not working to become a person of value to your network by being a connector. There is a benefit of being a person of value; and that reward is that you will strengthen of bonds between you and your network creating an environment ripe for success.
When was the last time that you connected people in and out of your network? What was the result? What is your definition of a person of value? What are you doing to actively strengthen that personality trait?