My brother recently shared this article from Inc. Magazine that explains the biggest predictor of career success.
It is NOT “talent, brains, grit, luck or connections.”
The biggest predictor of success is being part of an open network.
To explain what an open network is the author defines its opposite – a closed network.
A closed network is a group of people who already know each other, as they are often from the same industry, religion, political party, etc.
It is more comfortable and easier to get things done in a closed network b/c everyone shares similar views and perspectives.
In contrast, individuals within open networks tend to act as nodes connecting very different groups with different world-views and perspectives.
It can be lonely and uncomfortable being part of an open network in this manner but this is where “sparks fly” and creativity is fostered, according to the author.
People in open networks escape their “echo chambers” and avoid the errors that groupthink can foster.
I blogged last year about Michael Ovitz, an extremely successful Hollywood “super-agent” who epitomized this open network concept, as he connected with virtually every power player he met from every background.
Closer to home this message is just a great reminder for me b/c JVM did not really take off until we started hiring people who are my exact opposites. Their contrasting viewpoints and perspectives drive me crazy (b/c they tell me I am wrong all the time 😊), but we’d be nowhere without them.
Anyway, if you want to be exceptionally successful, you might leave your comfort zone and connect with people with whom you have nothing in common.
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