Networking secrets of CEOs

By Amanda Rose

August 19, 2015

There is often a good reason behind why certain people reach the level of CEO regardless of experience and education. And the crucial factor that has helped elevate them to that position of power is who they know ­– valuable relationships they have built over time.

The success of this factor, of course, comes down to their skills in networking; or as I like to call it: connecting.

So, how do CEOs build relationships and network and why is it different to everyone else?

1. They know their value

People in positions of power and influence know exactly what their value is and what they can bring to the table. There is no question in their mind about their qualities, experience and track record. They don’t feel the need to prove themselves in every single encounter with people.

2. They network at the right places

CEOs have a vision, and therefore know exactly the steps needed to take to ensure it is realised. This dictates the events they attend, how long they stay at the event and the events they avoid.

3. They get to the point

No fluff. Just business. At any event, CEOs will most often be seen discussing what needs to be discussed. This separates them from the herd. If you are there but just socialising, don’t expect the top job any time soon.

4. They pay attention

CEOs don’t let their minds wander. They don’t look around behind you for someone better to speak with. If they don’t want to speak with you they will politely exit the conversation. If they do want to speak with you, then you have their full attention.

5. They follow up

A clear vision means knowing exactly what you want — which leads to the follow-up. If a CEO connects with you, it is for a purpose and they will follow up accordingly.

6. They respect people’s time

You will find it a rarity that a CEO — or any other person in a powerful position — is wasting time at a function or meeting. They respect their own time, and they also respect yours.

If you are looking to climb the organisational ladder you will need to understand and master the above points. As the saying goes, act for the position you want not the one you’re in.

This article first appeared in The Mandarin’s sister-publication SmartCompany


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