Monday, September 26, 2011

DO ELEPHANTS NETWORK (aka The Necessity of Networking and Peer Learning)

I recently watched a documentary about the Elephant Graveyard.  Fact or fancy, the tale goes something like this (oversimplified is an understatement).  Older Elephants get the sense of their impending demise and travel sometimes thousands of miles to die in the "Elephant Graveyard".  The EG is rumored to be littered with thousands of tusks and elephant bones.

Truth or fiction, the point is that there is something in our gut that tells us certain things.  I know!  You know it and Malcolm Gladwell (blink is an amazing book that needs to be in every thinkers library), among others have written books about it.

We all know that hanging out with peers, like minded and even those better than us makes us better.  We also know that we get further down the road by stealing (I mean sharing) ideas, praying for each other and creating deeper connections.  So why dont we network regularly?

Some of the best things in life are like this.  Important but not urgent.  Several things come to mind; eating healthy, exercising , personal growth...anyone feeling me yet?  We would all rather eat junk food and never improve ourselves with exercise or education and hope we would all look like we just jumped off the cover of People mag, but good health and looks are not accidental.  Neither is being a good Youth Worker.  We must work at!  Almost everyone I chat with agrees that Networking is Important but they also dont attend local meetings as much as they should.  Sound like passing on the burger for the tofu sandwich?

1.  Get involved in a local network.  
2.  Make a commitment to attend regularly even come early and bring some business cards to share with others.
3.  Chant this...Better Together, Better Together, Better Together.  Then believe it.
4.  Play it forward. Thats just it, go first, lead the way.

The law of reciprocity is one of my favorites.  When it comes to networking maybe we should think about others and not just ourselves knowning that we will receive way more than we imagined.

Lastly, I dont know if elephants network but if they do, I'm sure they wouldn't have to travel thousands of miles to do it.

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