Networking is More than Contact “Management”

My definition of networking is:  “leveraging trust and influence.” It takes a long time to make an old friend! Trust and influence are cultivated over time and are based on experience with the friend’s past performance. Sometimes difficult challenges help you find out who your real friends are!

If all we did at a live “speed networking” event were to collect business cards, we might be better off with the Yellow Pages directory. It would save us time and money, and it would have an organized index! Have you ever looked at your stack of business cards and wondered who were those people? Do you realize that they’re wondering the same thing about your business card?

Social Capital

Some people say, “It’s who you know, not what you know, that counts.” Of course, what you know does count, too.  But I think that what counts the most is how those people that you know feel about you!

The following is an excerpt from a guest article written by Gregory Schnese, the Web Producer for,  in Jay White’s cool blog, called “Dumb Little Man.”

According to John G. Ango, an executive business coach:

“The formula for success = your human capital (what you know) times your social capital (who you know) times your reputation (who trusts you).”

When you build relationships you are increasing your social capital and reputation. You may even build your human capital too because you can learn a lot through your relationships.

What Are Friends For?

According to Jenni Russell in The Guardian, “Almost 60% of us claim that our friendships are more important to us than career, money or family.” After all, we get to choose our friends! Below is a paragraph from Jenni’s article:

What are friends for?

You choose your friends, not your family – and for many today, the former have become the most important people in their lives. But are you sure your friends really like you as much as you like them? And how do you know they will still be around in five years’ time? In the first of a highly personal three-part investigation into modern relationships, Jenni Russell looks at friendship.

So,  what do you think friends are for?  Please add your comments below:

Posted in Platonic Friends by Buddy Hodges. No Comments

Social Media compared to the Sub-Prime Bubble

Umair Haque wrote a provocative post in his Harvard Business Review Blog.  I have quoted it below to start a conversation about how close or deep our online relationships  really are, and how we can improve on them. Here is what Umair says:

I’d like to advance a hypothesis: Despite all the excitement surrounding  social media, the Internet isn’t connecting us as much as we think it is. It’s largely home to weak, artificial connections, what I call thin relationships.

During the subprime bubble, banks and brokers sold one another bad debt — debt that couldn’t be made good on. Today, “social” media is trading in low-quality connections — linkages that are unlikely to yield meaningful, lasting relationships.

Call it relationship inflation.
Nominally, you have a lot more relationships — but in reality, few, if any, are actually valuable. Just as currency inflation debases money, so social inflation debases relationships. The very word “relationship” is being cheapened. It used to mean someone you could count on. Today, it means someone you can swap bits with.

Thin relationships are the illusion of real relationships. Real relationships are patterns of mutual investment. I invest in you, you invest in me. Parents, kids, spouses — all are multiple digit investments, of time, money, knowledge, and attention. The “relationships” at the heart of the social bubble aren’t real because they’re not marked by mutual investment . At most, they’re marked by a tiny chunk of information or attention here or there.

Relationships are the Goal

Virtually every mentor and consultant giving advice about social networking will tell you that the goal is relationships, not just contacts. My mission is to learn how to achieve that goal. Collectively, everybody knows more than anybody, so I hope other successful networkers will contribute posts, comments, and video interviews.

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