Ever wondered how many opportunities you’ve missed out on because your network is too small? I bet most of us have. But have you ever considered the diversity of your network and how it’s impacting your work, your business or your opportunities?
Amy C. Waninger is the founder of Lead at Any Level, LLC, and the author of the new book “Network Beyond Bias.“. In this episode, she helps us see the risk associated with a network that’s too homogeneous, how we can start to connect with those outside our current networks, and why it’s so important we do so.
Since I think my official review of Amy’s book says it all, I’ll include it here:
With her new book Network Beyond Bias, Amy C. Waninger offers a new perspective on expanding our networks that’s useful and practical for the most junior employee right up the ladder to the executive suite. Her advice and examples are real and actionable, and will make you wonder how you didn’t recognize your network blind spots before. Even those of us for whom diversity and inclusion is top of mind can benefit from Amy’s approach which is generous and forgiving while still reinforcing the urgent need to diversify our viewpoints, connections and partnerships.
As you’ll hear in our conversation, Amy considers herself to be an atypical diversity champion, but that’s one of the reasons I think her work is so important. In her book, she talks about a conversation with a friend who’s frustrated to be attending so many “women’s events” and not seeing enough men there. The woman wonders how we’ll ever make progress if we’re constantly preaching to the choir, so to speak? To which Amy wonders aloud how many African American or LGBTQ events either one of them has been to?
You and I aren’t seeing their struggles because they’re not daily realities for us. And men don’t see ours for the same reason. Let’s change that. We should go to the MLK breakfast and the Chinese New Year celebration and the Pride Parade. Let’s invite men to go with us to the women’s conferences. Let’s stop focusing on our own problems and start being allies to others.
– Amy C. Waninger
This is a fantastic book for anyone who has wondered how to be an ally to another, or who simply wants to understand someone else’s struggles. AND it’s wrapped up in fantastic career and business advice the helps us all see the benefits of expanding our networks.
What you’ll learn from Amy in this episode:
- How everyone benefits when we broaden and deepen our networks
– even those who aren’t yet working at a director, vice president or c-suite level.
- How each of us can understand our own unconscious bias and what’s really involved in our decision making processes
- What would happen if we viewed everyone we interact as important to us – not just those who can immediately impact our careers
- The jobs we get later in our careers come from our
connections. Why that makes it even more important that those connections be broad and not all look, sound or behave alike
- Amy’s brilliant CHAMP framework for how to broaden and deepen your networks
- What happens to our work relationships when we allow our assumptions to take over for our curiosity
- How each of us must own responsibility for our
Amy is ambitious for:
Jae Patterson, Marketing and Business Development Consultant at InnovaPros, LLC
Links to organizations/articles/books mentioned in this episode: