One of the most important resources you have for creating value is your social network. And one of the most important ways that you can create value is by understanding the goals and needs of people you know and using your own network to help them meet those goals in ways that only you can do. In so doing, you create value for the person being helped and also you.
This assignment’s goal is to help to reason more carefully about the unique value that your network holds for other people (and, of course, yourself). Using LinkedIn (I imagine that you have a LinkedIn account) I want you to begin by choosing 3 people in your network that you know are trying to accomplish something, whether it be finding a job in a specific industry, starting a business, or something else. Next, I want you to find for each of these three people, 2 other people to whom these first three are not connected to, are unlikely to know and who are likely to be useful to them in achieving their goals.
Once you have done this, please write a short report totaling no more than 2 pages with the following information about the three potential brokering opportunities you just described.
- Describe the goals and needs of each of the three individuals you listed; describe also how you know these people, how/why they are connected to you, and how you discovered that they had the goals you described.
- Next, describe the two other people in your network that might have the “resources” (i.e. a job opportunity at their firm, the connections to people who can provide financing for a venture, etc.) that would be useful for the people you listed, how you know these two people that can help the person, and why you think they would help you help the first person (e.g. is it a win-win situation, will they be repaying a debt to you, or will you be asking for a favor from these people that you may need to repay later).
- Third, describe how you will broker this connection and more importantly describe why this is the unique value that you provide and why it is unlikely that other people would not be able to make these same types of brokering connections.
- Finally, based on your answers to these questions. Describe what you think is the unique value that you can bring to the table with your network. Are you better at brokering one type of connection vs. another, etc.