Am I Meant To Be A LION?

"Images"Some time ago I wrote about the LinkedIn Open Networker (LION) Are You A Lion? My thought was that the concept had merit BUT it lacked the personal connection I felt necessary to make referrals work.

Recently, while doing a presentation about networking, the LION conversation came up. A gentleman in the audience (who by the way I have a good deal of respect for) stated that he accepts all invitations to connect, LinkedIn or otherwise. I cannot recall his precise words but essentially he noted that every connection has potential value, whether we know them or not. He got me thinking that maybe I had been too quick to judge. After all, I have judged far too many books by the cover and have later learned that my instincts are not all that I hoped them to be. 

To cut to the chase I am confident that I am NOT the king of the forest. The LION life is not for me. In my business, building trust is essential and this is not done without knowledge of each other. I cannot build trust simply by accepting an invitation to connect. However, I do not want to pass up legitimate opportunity, especially when it is right in front of me.

So here's what I do: when I receive a request to connect from someone I do not know I suggest either a phone or face to face conversation to "get to know each other." For those that agree to follow-up I am always willing to connect. For those that do not agree, I ignore the request. On average I get about 15 such requests each week; typically, 1-2 of those folks agree to chat. 

Perhaps I am being a bit selective but then again isn't that what this is all about?

2 responses on “Am I Meant To Be A LION?

  1. Jim Van says:

    Professionally, I devalue any contact with the words LION or with over 500 contacts on LinkedIN. The reason? It's impossible to maintain a meaningful relationship with that number of contacts. I don't see the value in it. On the contrary, I look for actual relationships with my LI contacts, and for them to have similar relationships with theirs. The LION concept simply devalues having the contact in the first place.
    If I want large lists of contacts, there is no shortage of list brokers from whom I can purchase such lists…cheap.
    Call me a KITTEN if you like…

  2. Ed Drozda says:

    Thanks for commenting Jim; I happen to be one of those who is over 500 connections and I admit in the very beginning I did accept requests from strangers- yes indeed I did not heed my Mom and Dads warnings. That went on for a very short time as I realized it was not what I was looking for. I am honestly a long-term sort of guy, but I do want to be open at the same time. I honestly cannot say I know each of my contacts (I know about 90%) and of those I am hard-pressed to be close but then again. I do know them enough to know that I feel confident to introduce them if someone asks (and if not, I say so). So for me, LION- nope, KITTY- maybe not quite; I guess I will have to settle for TIGER. Hmm, guess that beats COUGAR.

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