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  • Writer's pictureMatt Sitter

Relationships - Your Other Scarcest Resource

Time is commonly cited as our scarcest resource. We only have so much of it, you can’t store it up, and it can definitely be wasted. Our other scarcest resource is our relationships. They crucially impact what we can accomplish and the opportunities we are exposed to.

In August, AFN’s Members will be taking the Leadership Network Diagnostic (developed by the folks at Network Leader) to add awareness, intentionality, and discipline to how we think about our relationships and networks.

Social Media has created an environment where it seems we can have relationships (connections, friends, followers, etc.) with a virtually infinite number of people. In reality, we have a cognitive limit to how many relationships we can reasonably manage or maintain. British anthropologist Robin Dunbar says that number is approximately 150 - and includes all aspects of our lives (family, friends, and colleagues). The number of relationships any individual can manage may vary from person to person, and the list of who is in our “150” will change over the course of our lives. We will have different relationships that we maintain and rely on during the different stages of our lives and careers.

With a relatively small limit to the number of relationships we can effectively manage, and with the massive impact relationships make on our lives, they are truly a precious resource. Unsurprisingly, our networks are built through our experiences, which often means they are focused on the past rather than the future. As we consider the future of our networks, we must consider what type of support they provide and how their openness, diversity, and depth influence our capabilities.

I’m excited for our Community of CEOs to gain this new tool to understand their networks. As we say, “Your Network is the Answer” - make it your best network possible!

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