Up, Down, and Sideways.

Uncategorized Feb 21, 2022

Life is short, time is in short supply, and our attention spans are getting shorter by the minute. What you need to know is bullet-pointed below, but read to the end of the article if you need the justification.

Your networking strategy must include - UP, DOWN, and SIDEWAYS.

Why UP?

  • The leaders who forged the way have insight, advice, and perspective for situations you have yet to experience.
  • They may have bigger picture knowledge or ideas that will help you shape views that stretch you beyond your current thinking or experiences.
  • Internally or externally, they may know of opportunities that will move your career forward.


  • You can provide the same opportunities from the above list for this group.
  • Those who have not achieved the same milestones may see the world differently and share a perspective you have not considered.
  • They can give insight into information that others are afraid to share beyond their peer group. 

Why Sideways?

  • This group is not your competition. Instead, they are your future partners in leadership, who you will need to influence and lead.
  • There are multiple viewpoints of similar situations. Finding a thought partner who thinks differently than you will shorten your learning curve if met with curiosity instead of resistance.
  • As this group expands their knowledge, you will find that your world and opportunities expand along with their growth.

So I ask, how much time do you spend networking each week? Is it part of your leadership practice? One of the biggest things this job has taught me is that we need to give ourselves permission to spend time networking every month, if not every week. 

Why build it into your calendar? Networking makes you a more well-rounded employee, more educated on not only your industry but the world around you. In addition, it provides you with a place to go for answers and perspectives that you cannot find within your organization. 

Often in coaching, I hear leaders thinking about a change or looking for information, yet they can't respond when I ask who they might reach out to in their network to explore what is out there in the market that could be of interest to them.

If you are looking for a perspective beyond your experiences and growth in your career, don't underestimate the power of networking with your colleagues at all levels. 



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