The Three Networks You Need

Linda Hill & Kent Lineback
On: Leadership, Managing yourself, Leadership development
10:42 AM Thursday March 3, 2011
Source: Harvard Business Review

We all know how important networks are in all the different parts of our lives: medical and health, financial and legal, and especially in work and career. What many don't know is that to be successful as a manager and leader you need not one but three networks: operational, developmental, and strategic.

First, of course, is the network of those you and your group need to do your day-to-day work. These are people in other units of the company, and outside, on whom and on whose work you depend to do your work. This is your operational network. Those in it don't work for you but your success depends on them. It also includes those who depend on you and your group to do their work. Though you may not need them, their demands on you can have a big impact on how you spend your time and attention.

Your developmental network is the collection of individuals whom you trust and to whom you can turn for a sympathetic ear, advice (depending on their experience), and a place to discuss and explore professional options. One way or another, these are people who help you grow as a manager and leader.
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