Understanding the Power of Personal Connections


the power of personal connections

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 .

That is me on the extreme right. I was observing the white board.

That is me on the extreme right. I was observing the white board.

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.

Information 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

Power roles

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

Development roles

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.


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