I am frequently amazed by the quality of contacts that CEOs and Bus Dev executives can generate. Yes, it is part of the job, but sometimes the success of getting “in” with important people at key strategic companies/partners is awesome. I think of myself as an outgoing person, but am not sure I would have such success.
Then I start thinking about business basics. Connections are vital and a business basic, but they are barely meaningful without execution. Management success is not measured by connections, it is measured by execution of a plan. It is measured by the attainment of goals and business milestones. Moving a business incrementally closer to a goal (for example, acquiring Customer Z) is exciting. Attaining the goal and having Customer Z buy your product is thrilling. Connections don’t execute.
As a board member, it is execution that makes me smile most. I like to see the plan of attack and then measure success against the plan. I care deeply about connections too. But the connections do not get the company to revenue or the next financing. My next goal is to figure out how to better use my LinkedIn and other social media connections to advance an execution plan!