The network balance sheet: Why does this make sense?
The people in the network
The type of relationships you have with them
How the individuals are connected or network structure
Assessing your network
List the people in your network
Write them down ... Your boss, your colleagues, family members, college roommates, clients, advisors, your daughter's teacher, your Monday night squash partner, etc.
Get out your address book, or look at who you are connected to on LinkedIn, Plaxo, Xing or Facebook. Who have you e-mailed in the past three months? Look at your mobile phone; who have you called more than twice over the past 6 months? Write all of those names down on a piece of paper.
Categorise the people in your network
Simple categories like Colleagues, Clients, Family, and Friends are a good start. A slightly more advanced approach might be by industry, age or geographic location.
Try to define the types of relationships you have with these people
For example, it could be based on the length of time you have known them or the level of trust you have with them. "People I'm in contact with every day", "People I interact with once a month", "People I never see, but whom I can call anytime" and "People I haven't seen in years who may not remember me". Or "People who love me", "People who trust me", "Acquaintances", and "People who dislike me".
What is important is that you think which categories and relationships are important to you and your objectives.
Place the people in your network onto the balance sheet
Who would you list as an asset? Who may be a network liability? How would you characterise your equity in terms of help you have given to others and your own reputation? What is your attitude toward networking and your skill at it - is it an asset or a liability?
What other assets might be listed here besides people? These might include your own attitudes, behaviours, positions, memberships, etc. that give you an advantage in meeting interesting people and converting those meeting opportunities into networking relationships. So, assets include actual contacts, plus those personal conditions and fortunes that are advantageous in building and holding contacts.
- If a person is an asset today and you don't spend time with them,
does the value of that particular asset go down? Covey suggested that it
is important to make "deposits" in your trust accounts: deposits that
mean something to the person with whom you have the relationship. In
addition, he suggested that withdrawals are typically larger than
deposits. As Warren Buffett has said, "It takes twenty years to build a
reputation and five minutes to ruin it".
- You may wish to differentiate between "fixed" and "current" assets.
I have lifelong friendships which would take a lot to dissolve ...
hence, they are fixed. On the other hand, my "current" assets might be
the result of my present position and could erode quickly if not
- If someone I know thinks that I have forgotten them, or worse, dislikes me, are they a liability?
- What is your own reputation or status within your organisation? Jensen suggested that status and reputation are signals about your quality and are especially important in new situations to help reduce uncertainty. Status is based on your position in your organisation and ties that you have with others, while reputation is based on your past performance.
|Assets||Liabilities and equity|