Network . . .

The last few days have reminded me of the power of networks. I don't care if we're talking about electrical grids, quilting circles, a group of friends, professional acquaintances, a spy network, a loose collection of celiacs, or a - as long as we're NOT talking about Lifetime, I am PRO network.

The reality is, I think people often misunderstand what it means to have a network. A network - in its truest sense - is not something that has to be CONSTANTLY groomed, manicured, and engaged. It is merely something that must be kept. You have to make an impression, be memorable, keep the memory alive, and not abuse the dynamic. It is something filled with contacts. Truly populated. Dozens of legitimate people that have the same relative expectation of you that you do of them.

To clarify . . . A NETWORK is something you can lean on, get support from, trust, and provide support and a listening ear to. A CONTACT is a person within that network that will give you the above - and perhaps more (drug cartels are networks, after all) in a pinch.

The key to getting the most out of a network is to see that it is more than just one or two contacts, it (and its members) is/are best used sparingly, and you should only ask from the network what you do/would put in to the network.