Building a diverse and powerful network
It’s not a secret to success, but effective leaders are often those who have found themselves in a trusted and engaged network of like-minded professionals. These networks provide a myriad of benefits by offering an outlet for information sharing, constructive feedback, strategy development, and even new job opportunities.
A recent Forbes article breaks down the importance of building a robust network for leaders looking to expand their professional circle. The first step to building a network is to understand the function of an interconnected group of people. Almost everyone, whether they are consciously aware of it, has experience managing networks – whether it be with family, friends, or even co-workers. These trusted relationships are a perfect framework for developing a network.
Networks can typically be categorized based on what value they offer. Operational networks are most likely internal, task-focused contacts that help with day-to-day professional activities. Strategic networks often lend themselves well to broader innovation and leadership thinking. Personal networks can be used for personal development and can include family, friends, and professional contacts.
The article also notes that networking can be done anywhere, anytime. Networking can be done both in person at large or small events, or even virtually through platforms like LinkedIn or an organization-run program.
Through all networking channels, it’s important to consider the benefits, whether that’s new information, a leadership perspective, or amplifying other leaders in the industry. These relationships take time and should be cultivated during every networking opportunity. Networks are built on a foundation of trust and honest interest.
During the pandemic, our team developed NAFCU Networks – member driven online communities to engage on credit issues or processes of importance, whether you’re a CFO, compliance officer, or manage human resources to name a few. The ability for like-minded employees to share ideas and connect has been wildly successful.
This is why we’re excited to continue facilitating connections within the industry and just this week, NAFCU launched #NAFCUNation, a new digital and social media campaign aimed at elevating the most important members of our network: credit unions. Through #NAFCUNation, we want to give a face and voice to the credit unions we are fighting on behalf of with lawmakers, regulators, and the press. It’s also an opportunity for our members to grow their own networks by connecting with peers and seeing what others in the industry are doing.
Credit unions are encouraged to share their stories to help the association amplify its ongoing advocacy. Visit the #NAFCUNation page on the association’s website, and use #NAFCUNation when posting on social media.
We are honored to advocate for an engaged and member-driven industry, and we look forward to sharing your stories on Capitol Hill.
About the Author
B. Dan Berger, President and CEO, NAFCU
B. Dan Berger first joined NAFCU in 2006 and helped turn the association into the premiere advocate for the credit union industry.