One day I was enjoying lunch with my client Justine, who had recently been promoted to general manager of a large global property organisation. We were discussing the key deliverables of the new job along with the various levels of stakeholder management that were now required daily.
‘It's hard work,' she explained. ‘There's so much to do and I feel like I have no support, which is weird, right, because I have a big network.'
So we decided to dig a little deeper into this so-called great network.
- Who was in it?
- How had they helped her get to where she was right now?
- How were they going to continue to help her, given the demands of her new role and her aspirations for further career growth?
Up to this point Justine's network seemed to have been working for her. But her new role had created a new reality: not one person in her 500+ network could offer the advice, counsel and strategic thinking she needed at this more senior level with its associated challenges in relation to stakeholder management, organisational politics and game playing.
The reality was she had outgrown 20 per cent of her network, which was now working against her rather than for her.
Justine's experience is not unusual. Many of my clients reach a tipping point in their careers when they have to rethink themselves, their roles and their network. Most of us rise through the ranks based on our ability to deliver results and key performance indicators, and we clock up contacts ...