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stakeholder management

STOP Networking!

You know how everyone talks about the importance of networking?
Today, I want to debunk the myth around networking
If you're a seasoned career professional who wants to growth to senior leadership roles within your own company, then you should NOT focus on networking
While it's great to have a lot of contacts, there’s something even more important for you….
Stakeholder Management
When it comes to climbing up the corporate ladder, it’s not important to know more and more people
What really matters is that you know the right set of people
And that’s not all….
The right set of people should know you as well
That, in short, is the essence of Stakeholder Management – a key leadership skill which can help you navigate your organization with confidence and clarity
What's the Difference Between Networking and Stakeholder Management?
First, let’s break down what networking and stakeholder management really mean
Networking is all about meeting as many people as you can
You go to company events, power lunches, swap business cards and contact info, and try to maintain a bunch of connections
It’s like casting a wide net in the hope of catching some opportunities
You meet anyone and everyone, without any specific objective in mind
Networking is more random in nature
Stakeholder Management, though, is more strategic
It’s about identifying the key people within your organization who have a real impact on your work and your career, and then, building strong, meaningful relationships with them
Instead of spreading yourself thin, you focus on a few important individuals who can make a big difference
That’s why, if you want to grow in your career, you need to focus on Stakeholder Management more than networking
When you are young and during the early part of career, networking can help you connect with more and more people within your organization, who might help you settle down and find your way
But as you grow more and more senior, knowing more people will NOT help you
Knowing the right set of people will help you
Let’s talk about some of the benefits of Stakeholder Management
Influence and Support: 
As you climb the career ladder, your decisions and projects have bigger impacts
By managing stakeholders well, you ensure that you have the right support and influence to push your initiatives forward
These key people can become your advocates, helping to clear any roadblocks.
Better Decision-Making: 
Stakeholders often have valuable insights that can improve your decision-making
Engaging with them means you get access to important information and perspectives, which can make your projects and other professional endeavours more successful
Stronger Reputation and Trust: 
Building strong relationships with stakeholders enhances your reputation
When these key people trust you and see you as competent, they’re more likely to support your efforts
This trust leads to more opportunities and can help you advance in your career
Better Visibility
Creating visibility is a constant challenge for most of us
You do a lot of good work, but are you able to showcase it in the right forums?
In today’s complex matrix structures, it would be foolhardy to assume that everyone knows what you are doing
By engaging with the right set of stakeholders, you create more visibility for yourself in the right places
Long-Term Success
Networking might bring quick wins, but stakeholder management sets you up for long-term success
The deep, trust-based relationships you build are more sustainable and beneficial over time 
These relationships are based on mutual respect and shared goals, which last much longer.

Bottomline:
It’s not important that you know the right set of people
What’s really important is that the right set of people know you
And that’s why, if you want to grow in your career, start focusing on stakeholder management, which can build a solid foundation for your long-term success

And if you really want to learn how to master Stakeholder Management, then I would invite you to explore the next batch of our Global Executive Presence Mastery Program
In this program, one of the core skills we focus is stakeholder management. We will help you identify the key set of stakeholders in your company and how to build long-term trusted relationships with them. Interested to know more? Drop us a note

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