I wrote a book called “Networking is Dead” and so therefore shouldn’t be talking about the best “networkers” in the past, but, as Networlding, the term I use for building better, mutually beneficial relationships, was not in existence before the year 2000, I will use the term.
What attributes make Ben Franklin a great networker in the past?
- the ability to make diverse connections
- able to adjust to life’s continous fluctuations
- a natural curiosity and creativity
- a “can-do” attitude and champion of causes
- a desire to learn and grow continuously
Ben, surprisingly, was the brother in a family of 17 children! Now, if that isn’t a situation for anyone to learn to adjust to change and get along! He also had a group of friend he hung around who drank beer, but he just drank water, hence he was a man of discipline.
He was also the author of the hugely popular “Poor Richard’s Almanack, a powerfully creative endeavor. At one point he helped finance the erection of a building for the use of preachers of all denominations. Because he was so friendly to believers of all denominations, he earned this title of tolerance. In fact, he had more than five pseudonyms he wrote under for different newspapers. These venues allowed him to not only flex his creative muscles, but to champion a wide variety of injustices that existed during his lifetime.
One very important pseudonym Franklin used was that of Polly Baker. In his writings here he talked about the unfair treatment women received in early colonial society. Ms. Baker had several children out of wedlock and was punished by society for her “crimes,” while the men went free.
Finally, Franklin was extremely innovative with his writing and also the responsibilities he took on He was Deputy Postmaster General for North America for the British Crown from 1753 – 1774. Here, he was responsible for overseeing all of the Crown’s postal operations in North America where he streamlined procedures, reducing routes by 50% the time it took to receive letters.
Do you have other traits you know that Franklin held to make him a good networker?
So who is next? Who do you think should be next?