Leveraging Networks

Often in our careers, despite our well thought-out strategies coupled with smart/hard work, we notice that ‘undulations’ in accomplishments are unavoidable.   Such occurrences are typically double-edge swords – exposing our weaknesses in the short term while teaching us a lesson or two for the longer haul.   Amidst the variety of remedies that may help overcome such vicissitudes, networks (professional / social) are a powerful option to leverage.  Meaning, how well and how soon an Executive overcomes obstacles may be impacted by the robustness of his/her network too.


Dwelling on causal factors for these curves, the degree of ambition, abilities, risk taken, perseverance, ingenuity (or lack of these) may determine the magnitude and duration of these undulations.   Nevertheless, so long as the overall career trajectory is on an upward trend we aren’t overly concerned about the waviness.


But when faced with sudden and excruciating times in careers - when the trajectory isn’t rising - that demand critical thinking and decision making, we wish to summon the best of the ideas or resources to our aid, in short notices.   Here is where the prowess of our network is vital. As we visualise below, the key questions in each of the three phases could be distinctly different! 


At this point, leading corporates are known to offer formal coaching / mentoring to Executives at certain levels in the hierarchy through internal or external experts.  Before one attains such a position or is able to personally afford such services, if one is to build and regularly refresh a list of network members to look up to, who have specific expertise in the aforesaid phases, there may be few insurmountable challenges.    

A word of caution though:   people who have been through multiple rounds of such experiences are a wiser choice as coaches/mentors than those with one-off laurels!

BlueSteps Executive Guest Writer

Kalyan VKalyan Vaidya is a global-minded international executive with Asia-wide, multi-industry experience - Computers, Healthcare, Auto-electrics, Aircraft engines, Chemicals, Pharmaceuticals, Trading - in various facets of business value chain.

He has led projects in Japan, China, South Korea, ASEAN countries, India, Australia, Europe and the USA, and applies his international experience to his writing and management consultancy. Connect with Kalyan on LinkedIn or email him directly at kalyan.vaidya@gmail.com.

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