The Character of Your Network

There is a lot of discussion about building your network and how to find people to add to your networks, but you rarely hear about what characteristics we should look for in people we add to our networks.

Patrick Lencioni is an author who writes on leadership and management and also does a podcast At The Table where he talks about three important traits for great team members (The book where he highlights these traits is actually called The Ideal Team Player). I believe these same traits hold true in finding the right people for your network. These traits are: Hungry, Humble and Smart.

  • Humble – Humble people are quick to point out the contributions of others and slow to seek attention for their own. They share credit, emphasize team over self and define success collectively rather than individually.
  • Hungry – Hungry team members are self- motivated and diligent. They are constantly thinking about the next step and the next opportunity.
  • Smart – Team members are interpersonally appropriate and aware. They have good judgment and intuition around the subtleties of group dynamics and the impact of their words and actions.

GKB was beyond lucky to have a teammate that oozed all three of those traits at all times – John Moser, who we recently lost. John Moser spent his SIX-DECADE long career as an on-air host, station General Manager and Sales Manager in Beaver Dam, Wisconsin. The characteristics that made him a great friend, teammate, leader and integral part of my network and our team will always be remembered:

  • Humble: Craig Karmazin, (GKB Founder and CEO) noted in an email to the team, “John Moser would minimize his impact and accomplishments by talking about his poor academic career, his small town roots of Allenton, Wisconsin, or how great everyone else around him was.”
  • Hungry: I remember talking with John about a sponsorship opportunity we were offering our Beaver Dam advertising partners and it had a very low investment. I questioned John whether it was worth putting time into such a small investment versus the bigger ones that were out there. John told me we should go after both! John gave me the original “AND” answer – and he was right which was proven by his six decades of success!
  • Smart: If you were lucky enough to meet John, I hope you didn’t let the humbleness fool you. John was a great communicator who was able to appropriately and effectively infuse his passion and belief into his communication. In the early 2000s, I was in a meeting with him in Madison where he was talking about the Beaver Dam stations, and I was supposed to present our Madison stations. When he was done asking our contact questions, listening to her answers and then explaining why the Beaver Dam stations would be perfect for them, there was no doubt she would partner with us… only issue was I had to follow John and then present our Madison stations. Not surprisingly, we started a partnership with her… in Beaver Dam not Madison.

So next time you’re deciding whether someone you meet should become an integral part of your network and/or a teammate, just give them the Moser Test. If they are a fraction as humble, hungry and smart as John was…you have a winner.