Industry News

How well do you maintain long-term professional relationships with those in your network?

SmartPulse -- our weekly nonscientific reader poll in SmartBrief on Leadership -- tracks feedback from more than 200,000 business leaders. We run the poll question each week in our newsletter.

How well do you maintain long-term professional relationships with those in your network?

  • Extremely well: I put a lot of effort into staying connected with people: 6.52%
  • Very well: I work hard to stay connected with a focused group of people: 16.05%
  • Well: I stay connected to the most important people in my network: 26.75%
  • Not well: I could improve how connected I stay with people: 27.44%
  • Not at all well: I only stay connected to a small handful of people: 15.11%
  • Poorly: I put minimal effort into maintaining my network: 8.13%

Connecting takes effort. Looks like a pretty normal distribution of responses in terms of how well respondents stay connected with each other. Staying connected takes effort. Knowing a lot of people aren't good at it means you have to put in extra effort to make up for their lack of initiative in that space. It's easy to say, "Well, they don't try to stay connected to me, so why should I put in the effort?" You can take that approach but you'll find your network dwindling quickly.

Put in the effort. Be generous in sharing ideas and helpful information. Be a resource. The more people who see your value, the more you become a person they want to put effort into staying connected with. And you never know where your next big opportunity is going to come from.


Mike Figliuolo is managing director of thoughtLEADERS, which includes TITAN -- the firm’s e-learning platform. Previously, he worked at McKinsey & Co., Capital One and Scotts Miracle-Gro. He is a West Point graduate and author of three leadership books: "One Piece of Paper," "Lead Inside the Box" and "The Elegant Pitch."