“We are in an age of unprecedented change, it’s a ‘revolutionary’ time to be alive! The question we need to be asking ourselves is - ‘Am I leading that change?’ I believe we all have a choice to step up into personal, professional and social leadership. We have a choice to become agents for change, amplifiers, thought leaders to upgrade our thinking and lead our very own revolutions.”

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Who you know is important, and what they know is even more so!

It is no longer enough to be the most connected person in your field. The data deluge and information overload we all experience has increased the demand for quality. Once upon a time we networked with a volume intent. This involved getting as many business cards as you could from the room. Now it's as many friends on Facebook or followers on Twitter you can get. The aim was to get as many business cards as you could so you could flog them stuff and hassle them after. I have no idea what the future of Facebook or Twitter is, or even what's around the corner. What I do know is this… a quality network is more valuable than a large one over the long term.

The Thought Leaders Directory 2011, is this week's gift, and will give you an introduction to some of the Thought Leaders in the community.

When I created Thought Leaders in 2001, it was driven by a double need. Firstly, the need to improve the quality of my thinking and secondly, to improve the quality of my connections. Henry Ford said that you should surround yourself with people smarter than you and get out of their way. This has certainly been my experience. Indeed the quality of my network is directly proportional to my personal growth. Better thinking leads to better conversations. From there, anything is possible.

Here are some ideas for building a quality network...

  • Meet with people live
  • Present at gatherings
  • Handwrite notes
  • Care a bit about their world
  • Grow and learn
  • Meet and share
  • Discuss ideas not people
  • Be your best value in the relationship
  • Stay in touch
Quality networking is about who you're talking to and more importantly, what you are talking about. Network with intent. Hang out with smart people. Add enormous value to the conversation and their world. It's not just who you know that‘s important anymore, it's also what they know. It's the convergence of networks and knowledge that matter now.
Matt Church

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