Are you a football fan? I’m devoted to my hometown Kansas City Chiefs. During last week’s AFC divisional round playoff game, the Houston Texans shocked Chiefs Kingdom by scoring 24 points in the first quarter – the result of a blocked punt, an unlikely dropped ball and a fumble. Kansas City was stunned. It was as if our crew had forgotten who they were and how far they had come during the season. Then, nearly five minutes into the second quarter, with a breakout 58-yard runback, wide receiver, Mecole Hardman #17, reminded them. In those 15 minutes, the Chiefs not only caught up to the Texans, but outscored them by earning 28 points to close the half. It was the biggest comeback in franchise history. Final score: 51 to 31 – CHIEFS! Momentum was building.

Then, yesterday, during the conference championship round, the unquestionably impressive 24-years young quarterback, Patrick Mahomes, in his typical charismatic fashion, led the Chiefs to a 35 to 24 victory over the Tennessee Titans. The Chiefs now head to Miami to play the San Francisco 49ers in the big game – we’re going to the Super Bowl for the first time in 50 years – a first in my lifetime. At the post-game press conference, Mahomes, who had 294 yards passing and three touchdowns (one that he carried in himself), said, “I mean, it’s amazing. It really is. To be here, to be a part of Chiefs Kingdom and to be able to do it here at Arrowhead, these people deserve it. And we’re not done yet.” Momentum, indeed.

All this excitement has had me thinking a lot lately about the nature of momentum and how it can factor into networking. From my perspective, networking is not about a one-time transaction. Instead, it is about building relationships, building trust, building strength over time. It is about a series of touchpoints that, together, lead to robust interactions, opportunities to work together, a chance to make a difference.

In Jim Collins’ memorable book, Good to Great, he develops the concept of the “Flywheel Effect” and explains it as follows:

No matter how dramatic the end result, good-to-great transformations never happen in one fell swoop. In building a great company or social sector enterprise, there is no single defining action, no grand program, no one killer innovation, no solitary lucky break, no miracle moment. Rather, the process resembles relentlessly pushing a giant, heavy flywheel, turn upon turn, building momentum until a point of breakthrough, and beyond.

So, too, it goes in networking. In order to gain momentum for your relationship base, incorporate networking into your daily routine. Make sure to cultivate connections in an ongoing manner. It starts with one interaction… that leads to other encounters… that leads to breakthrough networking success.

While it may feel like you are pushing a boulder uphill, keep pushing! Don’t forget who you are. Don’t forget that you are a Master Networker. Don’t forget that you are open to networking.

Happy Networking! And, GO CHIEFS!

@Chiefs #ChiefsKingdom @NFL @SuperBowl #SuperBowlLIV #SBLIV

Photo: KC Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes (#15) flanked by Eric Fisher (#72) and Mitchell Schwartz (#71). Photo credit Jamie Squire, January 19, 2020.

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