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Susan MacKenty Brady on Networking: What is it good for?

November 25, 2011

Absolutely everything…

Networking–building relationships and connecting with others for the purpose of professional and personal growth–is an essential skill for leaders today,” says Susan MacKenty Brady, Linkage Executive Vice President. “It is essentialbecause everything we do as leaders, we do with and through others.”

By connecting with others who may have similar goals or priorities (or challenges), we can learn differing ways and views that may help us to affect our own situations more successfully. On the flip side to that, Susan says it’s also fun to be of help to others—which often happens during the networking process, even if we don’t try to.

How can we, as leaders, start networking? 

“Get talking!” says Susan. “As a member of a group, all you need in order to start networking is the willingness to share your own experiences and to show interest in the experiences of others.” People are social; every organization or group you are a part of provides you with an opportunity to network.  Whether you are making a name for yourself as the go-to planner in the PTA or you teach your weekend basketball teammates a few things about filing taxes—you are networking and developing your personal brand.

While, to some, the concept of networking seems to be stuffy—it’s not. “I tend not to think of myself as a ‘networker’,” says Susan, “but I do think of myself as someone who likes people and loves getting to know and staying in touch with others.”

Susan says that one of the most obvious ways networking has helped her personally throughout her lifetime is with job placement. “In nearly 20 years, every job I have had has come through networking—not through recruiters or “blind” applications. That’s pretty powerful! And it works both ways—I have enjoyed finding (and hiring) terrific talent through my own personal and professional networks.”

“I believe that how we do anything shows the world how we do everything. The “hand” that we extend to others is (and should be) a reflection of who we are,” says Susan.

“Networking—meeting and connecting with others—is a great way to “live in to” our personal brand.  It forces us to think about ourselves.  What am I about? What do I want others to know about me? Networking can help you to further refine the answers to these questions, and it can help you to manifest the truth of your answers as well.”

 

Susan MacKenty Brady is Executive Vice President of Global Programs for Linkage. Her expertise is in driving revenue for organizations through the implementation and execution of strategic business development and marketing activities.

 

 

 

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