How to Be a Connector, Not Just a Climber

I am a student and teacher of leadership. I developed the following after being exposed to the writings of leadership authority John Maxwell. There are two types of leaders, climbers and connectors. Climbers are:

  • Self-centered
  • Managers (NOT leaders)
  • Task oriented

Connectors are:

  • Community centered
  • Relatable
  • Legacy oriented

We are all a combination of climbers and connectors in our leadership styles, but with every single one of us, there is a dominant inclination. It is OK to be both, you just have to balance and make sure the dominant inclination is connector.

To become a better connector, here are a three recommendations:

  • Learn how to be an engaged listener

An engaged listener seeks to fully understand what the other party is saying, and responds with appropriate follow up questions and insights that demonstrate care.

  • Focus on building deep relationships

Having a big network of people you know, and who know you is great. However, to become a better connector, you must always be working to deepen the relationships with people in your network.

  • Create a system that you will follow

Every relationship must be nurtured for it to grow and flourish. The best way for that to happen, is to have a system in place to maintain those relationships. It is just like a watering system in a flower garden that goes off automatically at set hours throughout the day. Your system could be email based, handwritten cards based or phone calls based. The key elements are personal touch and regular frequency.

To conclude this article, a great leader is a great connector, always looking out for ways to help the people in his network grow and connect to achieve more, individually and collectively. Don’t just be a climber, be a connector!