“Take away my people but leave my factories, and soon grass will grow on factory floors. Take away my factories but leave my people, and soon we will have a new and better factory.” Andrew Carnegie
With the proliferation of social media, many experts pontificate on the value of social networks. Yet, more than 100 years ago Andrew Carnegie became one of the wealthiest men in the nation by building the largest steel company in the world. From Carnegie’s perspective, his power and wealth was notin the factories or money. It was in his network of people.
In fact, Carnegie knew very little about selling or making steel. He was, however, skilled at choosing and developing the right people. And those people knew how to sell and make steel. More importantly, he knew how to bring the best out of brilliant people and then empower them to collaborate with others from different business disciplines.
Whether it’s the 21st Century or the 19th Century, what matters most is the person who can best manage their social networks. If all you have is many contacts with no idea on how to leverage them, then your networks will grow grass on the floors in the same way Carnegie’s factories would have without his people.
You must understand the power of team. You also have to understand that individuals bring value to the team. In other words, the sum is greater than the parts. At the same time, one person has to hold the responsibility of seeing how the individual pieces fit into the entire puzzle. That is called leadership. Without question, Andrew Carnegie will forever be known as a great leader.
How well are you leveraging your network?