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Want to see more wins in the horse community? Here’s how

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From the experts: Sponsored content by Jonathan Fortenberry.

I recently listened to a podcast by Brad Lomenick titled “Why the best leaders are Connectors vs. Networkers”, and it helped me realize that there is a lot I have done well, but there are some areas where typical networking skills just aren’t enough. I’ll distill that podcast and my personal experiences into this article.

My grandfather had a roll-up door desk.  It was dark brown and sat just inside the front door of his home.  That’s where he kept notes of maintenance on wells, invoices from the fuel company, the latest issue of Progressive Farmer, and his Rolodex.  Anytime he needed a friend’s advice, he knew exactly where to find their contact information.  It didn’t matter that he needed an answer, it only mattered that he had someone he could depend on to help him. He knew where to find them. This was not a one-way street.  I’ve met countless people in my hometown who knew Moot Lyons, my grandfather, was the man to call.

Our lives today are richer when they are structured in the same way.  Dale Carnegie is quoted to say “You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.” This is connection versus networking in a nutshell. Why are you building your Rolodex?

I certainly hope you’ll take the time to listen to Brad Lomenick’s podcast, but for now, I’ll give you my top two takeaways.  First, “Connectors have an abundance and generosity mindset. Others winning is a win.”  Recently, I was asked to help a friend find a job. He’d been laid off for no other reason than the recent economy.  As it turned out, there was a networking event that I’d be invited to. There’s that word again, networking.  The goal was to be seen in a place where others were seen. But in this instance, I went for a greater purpose. I was going to find a connection for my friend.  His win was my win. A short 6 weeks later, he was hired for a position greater than the one he lost. Because I know business referrals will come, and I can afford to focus on giving, his life was positively impacted.

The second takeaway is this, “Connectors are relational and transformational. Networkers are transactional.” There’s a group of young folks building a community in my local area. They are making strides in creating a space for that college-age crowd to experience life together in a positive way. I found out they were looking for a neutral site to use for gatherings and I thought I could help. An old friend owns a banquet hall that is located in a pretty central area. I   reached out and told them the story of this budding community. My friend saw the vision and the impact and offered them access to the meeting place. Not only was it under budget, it was free! This group of folks now has more resources to do their work. It was transformational for them, and that was very cool to be a part of.

So how can we do this in our daily lives? We already give testimonials for farriers we trust.  I see social media posts all the time of trucks or trailers being sent to pick up stranded owners and their horses. It could also be as simple as getting to know the one thing that your peer loves to do the most. If your peer could, would he or she focus on that one thing they love the most? Is there something your peer or friend wants to expand into but isn’t sure he or she has the resources to do so? Do you know the perfect person or expert in that field to connect your peer with so he or she can start working towards their goals and passion? When a potential client calls you with something they are better suited for, can you help them shine a little brighter, and connect them with the right person or program instead of your own? Call someone today and have that conversation. Move the ball farther for someone else. Focus on being the “Connector” for fellow horse owners, equestrians and business owners. It’ll pay off.

I’m in a people-knowing business. There’s no doubt that I have and will in the future be a networker in some situations. However, these two examples have taught me that being able to connect people with a solution changed their world in greater ways than I could provide on my own. I hope I get to do a lot more connecting in the future.

As always, I hope you found value in our time together. I’m around if you ever need to make that phone call.
 

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