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  • Writer's pictureJohan Smith

A leader must be able to network

The lonesome cowboy path to good leadership no longer works today. On the contrary, it has never worked and never will. A good leader must be able to network - there must be people (other than your own internal team) with whom you partner. The relevant question is how do you choose these partners? What standards must they meet? You cannot simply join hands with any Tom, Dick, or Harry. No, your judgment is particularly important here, because mistakes at this level can cost you dearly. I highlight some criteria that can help you in this regard:


A good partner shares your Christian values. We live in a country teeming with fraud and corruption. There are many ankle biters, greedy ones and hypocrites. Someone who demonstrates good character and integrity over an extended period, will be a suitable candidate.


A narcissist is not an option at all. These mean characters who think the world revolves around themselves, shouldn’t even be considered. They are a definite no. The best advice I can give you about such people is to establish distance - as far as possible. Stay away! Let them live alone in

their own world.


Choose someone with passion and energy. Passion is contagious and is there and visible because a person feels called. He/she isn’t just doing a little task or their day job. No, they’re burning with infectious passion because they feel a calling to do so.


Let me borrow from Mother Teresa to make this point. She said, "I cannot do what you can do. You cannot do what I can do. Together we can do great things." In other words, beyond character and values, a partner can complement you in terms of your weaknesses, and you can in turn help them with your strengths. Together you form a formidable team.


Relationships are important – in fact, everything. Choose people with whom you can and really want to communicate. Choose people who are supportive. Choose people with whom interaction is a joy.

Never try to walk the road alone. Remember networking is absolutely vital.

(More on that next time.)

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