In life or in business, personal connections are the guys who will help you to be better at everything you do. The power of your personal connections cannot be overemphasized, especially when you have business partners.
The sum of all your personal connections is the best footing your business will ever have. Recently I attended a Workshop organized by GIST Women’s Village . We were a collection of 30 female entrepreneurs running businesses in Nigeria. The entire Workshop was based on a book titled Who is in your Personal Boardroom?: How to choose people, assign roles and have conversations with purpose written by Zella King and Amanda Scott .
Using methods clearly explained in the book, we were taught how to identify people in our personal networks and the roles they play in our lives and in our business.
As explained on the website, When people think of networks and networking in a professional context, they tend to think about conversations with strangers, exchanging business cards and adding connections on LinkedIn.
We argue there is more value in focusing on a few important people who can truly help you succeed, and investing time in those relationships. We call that small group of people your Personal Boardroom.
Purpose is important because it makes the ‘ask’ more contained. People respond better to specific requests than open-ended ones, and because it’s clear what they are being asked to so, it’s easier for them to say yes. Respecting people’s time and their boundaries is essential to good relationships in today’s busy world.
A chat over coffee may be all that’s needed.
There are 12 roles in your personal boardroom and they include information roles, power roles and development roles.
Customer voice – someone who helps you understand markets, customers and business opportunities
Expert – someone who gives advice based on their sector or challenge-specific expertise
Inspirer – someone who inspires new ideas and brings fresh thinking
Navigator – someone who can tell you who you need to know and who does what
Unlocker – someone who provides access to resources (e.g. money, data, people’s time)
Sponsor – someone who speaks out to endorse you and your ideas to senior or important people
Influencer – someone who works behind the scenes to win support and helps you get things done
Connector – someone who makes introductions and connects you with people who can help you
Improver – someone who gives candid, constructive feedback on your performance and development
Challenger – someone who challenges your decisions and thinking and helps you see your errors and blind spots
Nerve-giver – someone who strengthens your resolve at difficult times and gives you a sense of purpose
Anchor – someone who keeps you grounded and holds you to account for the balance between your work and the rest of your life
Using the 12 Personal Boardroom roles as a guide, you can better identify specific roles people play in your life and how to maximize them.
Truth is, there are people who are already playing these roles, now you can better pin their functions down and utilize their positions.
Your personal boardroom isn’t stagnant; every day you meet people who have the potential to fill these roles for you.
Personal Connections are gold, ensure you always value them.