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Have you ever wondered why someone would attend a cocktail, seminar or wedding event without interacting with anyone and would just walk out and go tell his friends, “the people are nice just that I was shy to approach them”? This phenomenon of being shy has been there over time just that we need to work on ourselves to overcome it. We would have to talk about shyness in another publication and provide strategic ways to overcome it.

Not long ago I was fortunate, and privileged to be recruited to join the Global Shapers community of the World Economic Forum, Accra Hub (www.globalshapersaccra.org) where I serve as the assistant project and fundraising lead. This opportunity came as a result of me taking advantage of a friend’s post on Facebook which advertised the opening to recruit new members into the hub. A year down the line, I have interacted with many professionals, colleague hub members who have, one way or the other, given me the opportunity to learn a thing or two from them professionally while developing a cordial relationship with people from various professional backgrounds.

A lot of times, people get the opportunity to interact with CEO’s, Managing Directors, and Entrepreneurs but they fail to ask the right questions at the right time. This makes it difficult to unlock certain opportunities that could be made available.

Here are a few tips to consider on how to leverage your network to make positive impact in your society and in business.

First of all, let us understand what leverage means:
Ability to use something to maximum advantage (verb) – Merriam Webster.
Example: working with your laptop while saving enough electric power by charging your battery and taking off the battery after it is fully charged. Or organizing a cleaning exercise at church and asking people to volunteer.

To this extent you become more efficient and accountable for the actions you take. Never should you forget to maximize the resources you have to benefit others, especially if it is possible to do so.

And then leveraging is the key to making what you have go much further. Just like a crowbar, leverage allows you to harness the power of good positioning and strategic application of energy to move mountains.
By doing well for others, you can do well for yourself.

Economic growth: Your workforce is the most valuable asset. The knowledge and skills they have represent the fuel that drives the engine of the economy or business. Learn to leverage that knowledge.
Industrialization: In the era where industries are springing forth,sometimes some smaller manufacturing companies do not need to invest a lot in their production line based on their customer need and availability of resources.It takes a little of sharing ideas and processes already practiced by other competitors that could be a model for them to grow.

Trying to maximize your potential to make impact has a lot to do with networking with people and sharing ideas. Quite recently, I read a viral article that stated that, certificates and grades alone does not define your future but networking with the right people along the line and learning to improve on what you already know keeps you ahead.Networking is a process that fosters the exchange of information and ideas among individuals or groups that share a common interest. It could either be social, business or any form of network.
As a result of sharing ideas, people get to find their business partners to partner on similar projects.Others find their life partners, co- founders and many more prospects that could ever happen. It is always advisable you define the scope of what you want to know before approaching people. Put your ideas in shape.

Even as we are encouraged to share our ideas with people, we are faced with challenges such as;

Individualist approach: let me do it alone always.
Misappropriation of resources: no checks and balances.
Trust issues: having a hard time trusting company A + B.

We must not relent on sharing that billion-dollar idea with a prospective investor close by despite the fears of the unknown.

This approach is the surest way to maximize your social network to make positive impact in society or in business.

Strategic partnerships: More than often companies have strategies in place to check the outcome of any project they embark on. Sometimes you can save a lot of money, time and resources if you find some organizations that share similar vision with your organization in order to embark on any project.
Team work:  This is a no-go area for some people. Team building is an essential part of leadership. You are likely to meet someone who would be interested in your idea and hence wants to feature the concept to make it more feasible and influential. It is necessary to learn the nitty gritty of working in smaller groups/teams to harness the ideas of other team members in order to make impact.Volunteering: Another effective way to make lasting impact is to learn how to volunteer an hour or more towards a positive cause in society. Sometime back I noticed a lot of volunteers from abroad were in Ghana to assist on various projects in some communities. Some of the volunteers had to learn communication skills, financial literacy and other relevant skills in order to meet their target. People get recommended for a demanding role just because they have devoted some time to learn, assist, guide a group of people on a charity work. Volunteer today!

Investment: People fail to invest in something worth awhile. I recently gathered from my colleagues at work that, investing money in a talent/ business with your business partner boosts your level of confidence and creates more platforms for others to learn from you. Sometimes you might not be aware of the impact you want to make if you fail to invest in something that brings you so much fulfillment in the end.

If you decide to go along and practice these 4 nuggets, your year would be fruitful. Let me borrow the words of George Soros- It is much easier to put existing resources to better use than develop resources where they do not exist.
Be resourceful and leverage on your social network to make positive impact in 2018 and beyond.

Author:  Tornyi | Speaker | Global Shaper | Writer | Founder of Proswrites Foundation | Aspiring Engineer
Contact: +233 (0) 577366776 | tornyiprosper@gmail.com
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/prosper-tornyi-114a69105/

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