[GUEST POST] Three Networks That Can Strengthen Your Millennial Leadership

by Cheyenne Cochrane, Guest Blogger

African American businesswoman social network
According to one study,  64% of Millennials say that getting rich is the most important goal in life for their generation, and 17% cited that as their second most important goal. On the flip side, 60% of Millennials report an interest in public service, and are volunteering at historically high rates. This combination of the desire for achievement matched with eagerness to make an impact is the very foundation of millennial leadership.

Leaders are influencers. As the world becomes increasingly flat, your network can have a huge impact on your net worth in the long run.  Networking, however, isn’t how many friends you have on Facebook, followers you have on twitter, and likes you receive on Instagram. By strategically creating a web of influence, you can enhance your skills, connections, access, and perceived social value exponentially!  There are  three types of active networks that you should define, organize, and evaluate.

1. Your Operational Network

african-american-black-friendsThis subset is comprised of those involved in your day to day activities. Your friends, co-workers, peers, and family that are already closely associated with you. These are the ones who you tend on be on a first name basis with, whose numbers you can access in your phone, shoot them a text, etc. This subset requires the least amount of maintenance because you see them so often, your connection is automatic.

2. Your Strategic Network

This group is the one most of us often fail to separate from our operational network, which can lead to a lost connection of potential value. These individuals help you prepare for the future by answering questions that guide you. These people tend to be older than us, but not by much. They have achieved significant milestones in their life, and tend to be in current positions that have value to you professionally. Establishing a good working relationship with these people can be the key to a promotion or better job, recommendation letters, or get you in the door at prestigious event. Identifying your strategic network is a must!

3. Your Developmental Network

This is my favorite network (I’m a huge fan of personal development). These Business-networking-online_ziliotinvaluable people are the ones who will help you grow and provide personal and emotional support when needed. We discover many hidden gems, or mentors in this category. The benefits of your development network are long-term. Keep them informed of what’s going on in your life, and perhaps let them help you re-evaluate your goals. This network is wise, and has lots of experience and advice. Always keep in mind that they have been successful at playing a game that you are just beginning.

By leveraging these networks accordingly you will begin to attribute a purpose for each new connection you make. Keep track of where you met them, what was discussed, and what follow-up actions were taken if any. Keep in mind that your connections should be mutually beneficial, it should not be all about you. Allow your networks to to cultivate, stimulate and motivate you in becoming increasingly more effective on your quest for leadership and influence.

Who’s in your networks? Have you identified your networks yet? Tell us how they are working for you.

549528c3ff5262cadb25eb93938143f0Cheyenne Cochrane is a millennial leader with a passion for connecting her peers through leadership development. As the Founder and CEO of Transcend Consulting, Cheyenne creates pathways and cultivates leadership through giving, development, and innovation. She is also a proud Chicagoan. Keep up with Cheyenne on Twitter @LivLifeLavishhh.

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