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Why Smart Leaders are Building Global Networks

Why Smart Leaders are Building Global Networks

As the saying goes, your network is your net worth, and when you build a strong global network, the sky’s the limit. That’s why some of today’s biggest companies, including Apple, Microsoft, Tesla, and Amazon, have devoted themselves to building global partnerships, broadening the path toward greater expansion and the development of remarkable innovation.

This new “global superpower” is within reach for individual women leaders as well. In today’s world, building a global community is enhanced by remote working and digital platforms that allow us to easily connect with the right people – regardless of where we are located.

Expanding your connections to include professionals from around the world increases your value in unexpected and exciting ways. Benefits from investing the time to network with new people and learn about other cultures and practices might include:

  • gaining a broader understanding of the global marketplace
  • being aware of job openings, career paths, and emerging industries
  • finding potential partners or clients
  • developing a better understanding of cultural practices, customs, and business etiquette of other countries
  • enhancing your visibility in a global community
  • increasing your productivity by exposing you to new professional resources

At first, it may feel intimidating to connect with people from other countries. There are concerns about overcoming language and cultural barriers or finding common ground with people you seem to have nothing in common with. Rest assured, those on the other side have similar reservations. As you begin connecting with other cultures, you will learn more about each other through observation, authentic conversations, and a little research.

Winnie Koh,

Global Senior Business Development Manager, Rice Ingredients and Multi-functional Flours, Ingredion Singapore Pte Ltd

Getting started

BLI alum, Winnie Koh, Global Senior Business Development Manager with Rice Ingredients and Multi-functional Flours Ingredion Singapore Pte Ltd., is a perfect example of building a global network. Knowing she needed to expand her global connections in order to enhance product exposure and increase sales potential, she decided to join The She-Suite Brand Leadership Institute (BLI). Speaking about its impact, Winnie shared “The Brand Leadership Institute has verified and reinforced my belief in collaboration, on top of providing me with some great tools and tips to elevate my networking.”

As you think about the expansion of your network, here are tips to consider:

Join established groups.

While newer groups can be great, finding groups who have been around for a while and who are more likely to draw high-level professionals will probably be a better investment of your time and money. Depending on your goals, you can look at factors such as cost, in-person opportunities, group size, meeting frequency, additional resources, and more. It is also important that your community has a clear vision statement that is easy to understand. Since the needs of a global network can vary, you’ll want to know exactly what is being offered and expected so that you can determine whether a particular group is the best fit for you.

Go beyond the monthly meeting.

When you find people you consider high-value partners, take extra steps to connect with them on a consistent schedule so that you can build a meaningful relationship. Since you will likely be in opposing time zones, you may need to find creative ways to touch base and stay connected. You can utilize a number of tools, including text, video, audio messages, social media, and the occasional video conferencing. If you are the person running a group, creating an easy directory with member information categorized by niche or industry can be an effective resource to encourage collaboration and support.

Optimize your digital community.

As you build your global community through various digital platforms, you’ll want to utilize features that will assist with services such as translation, support, and designated spaces for asking and answering questions. Make sure to be open to meeting people where they are. For example, platforms and apps like Notion and WhatsApp are widely used outside the U.S., so take the time to research the easiest way to stay in touch. Remember, this is a growth opportunity!

Leverage your social media.

To develop a global reach, you can apply a strategic approach to platforms such as LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook using specific keywords, topics, and industry talking points. You can also create and join groups on Facebook and newsletters on LinkedIn to attract and connect with people from all over the world.

Each of the above tips can be wonderful tools for increasing your reach and connection to others around the world. One firm proponent of networking is BLI alum Pamela Poliwa-Nkengue, Quantitative Risk Analyst-Director with UBS. In her words, “One should not underestimate the power of networking. You would probably not realize at a given point in time how a particular connection could impact your future but you could be surprised later on! In fact, I have experienced this throughout my career: some doors opened for moves thanks to relationships I took time to nurture, but having recognition from sponsors and international colleagues also helped in my recent promotion. Initiatives and programs such as BLI are a great way to expand our network and I would encourage everyone to make the most out of it.” We couldn’t agree more.

Pamela Poliwa-Nkengue, Quantitative Risk Analyst- Director, UBS

Beyond our geographical borders are some of the brightest and most innovative thought leaders across industries. It’s time to stop admiring from afar and create opportunities for yourself that will enrich and expand your development in business and beyond. For more information on The Brand Leadership Institute program that The She-Suite has developed to empower women to expand their global brand, visit https://bli.theshesuite.com.

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