Going Beyond Your Team

Learn how to make connections with people not in your team.

The output of others that you influence

So, do you remember our favorite equation? Surely you must know it by heart by now. Here it is one more time. Your output is measured by:

The output of your team + The output of others that you influence

This is the part of the course where we begin to consider the second part of the equation: the output of others that you influence. What does that mean? Isn’t “influence” an ambiguous word or one that is potentially loaded with politics and dubious intent? First of all, it really isn’t and influence can be an incredibly positive thing.

To get some context, cast your mind back to what we discussed in the Manage Yourself First chapter around the four key activities you’re involved in as a manager:

  1. Information gathering
  2. Decision-making
  3. Nudging
  4. Being a role model

Nudging and being a role model

The third and fourth activities can be seen as a couple of ways of exerting your influence in a positive way. Nudging influences other people’s decisions by offering your opinion, and being a role model is where you publicly act with the values and behaviors that you wish to see in others.

  • You may have some past experience that allows you to nudge a decision that another team is making in a way that makes them get it done more effectively. This is nudging.
  • You may continually give feedback in an open and candid manner that encourages others to do so within your team. This is being a role model.

Given that you are additionally measuring your output as a manager as the output of others that you influence, it follows that by having more opportunities to influence others, you have more opportunities to increase your own output. That’s why being well connected is important. It simply means opportunities to have a positive impact on more people.

The curious corollary is that influencing others positively builds stronger connections. This allows you to gather more information about what is going on in other parts of the department and the business, feeding that back into making better and more impactful decisions within your own team. It’s a virtuous cycle.

However, if you’re new to a company, or even if you’ve been promoted from within as an individual contributor, you might not be well connected beyond the individuals within your team and your manager. You can’t expect your manager to make all of the connections for you either. It’s going to take some concerted effort, especially for those that are natural introverts, like me. However, being well connected strengthens your position as a manager, positively impacts your team, and most importantly, can help you make new friends and feel supported at work.

Let’s start by actively building your network.

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