We All Have Two Networks We Should Actively Nurture

by Michael Simmons on Mar 29, 2014

I believe that when we think about our networks, we should think about it as two networks:

  • CLOSE NETWORK – Kindred spirits, friends, and family closest to us who we confide in the most and who we are most generous to time and energy wise.
  • EXTENDED NETWORK – Large and diverse network of people we’ve met or who somehow resonate with who we are as expressed through our work and content.

IMHO, I think both networks are critical to career success and leading a fulfilling and rich life and both should be actively developed.

Many people criticize weak ties because they are shallow. I think what people miss is that shallow is not necessarily at the cost of deep. Also, a relationship being shallow doesn’t mean it’s not valuable.

This week, when I asked for a book recommendation (http://on.fb.me/O7k7tQ), introduction to a public company CEO (http://on.fb.me/P9x6vR), and received an intro to an author I interviewed (http://on.fb.me/P9xb2C); it was generally the weak ties in my network who I had never met or hadn’t connected with for years that gave the most support.

A book that makes a great case for the power of weak ties is Consequential Strangers.


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I'm the co-founder of Empact, one of the leading entrepreneurship education organizations in the world. I'm obsessed with understanding how we all can lead meaningful lives that have a positive social impact. I love probing into the truth of how we experience life. I believe that challenges are what make us grow the most, and I openly share my experiences. Continue reading…