5 Ways to be a Personal Bridge Builder

Be a bridge builder!

“We build too many walls and not enough bridges.” – Isaac Newton

You never realize the importance of a bridge until it’s no longer there.

Last fall during a routine bridge inspection, inspectors discovered a crack in one of our area bridges. After much dialogue and way too many press conferences, the bridge was deemed inoperable. Its estimated time of completion would be early March.

The major problem is this bridge is a main artery between Indiana and Louisville.

So over the past few months, the community has tried to adjust with 1/3 of the bridges out of order. However, in spite of all the government agencies initiatives, there’s some adjustments that just won’t solve the issues. Highways have been closed and traffic rerouted with hopes to facilitate a more cohesive flow. The outcome has been increased commute times for many. For some individuals the travel from Indiana to Louisville every day, have experienced commutes that normally would have taken 45 minutes, now take 2 hours are more.

Not only has it affected commuters, it has also hurt businesses in Indiana that require traffic from Louisville to survive. We have noticed firsthand the importance of bridges in travel and commerce.

Increase your Network, Build Bridges

Networks have limited success without bridges to connect them together.

Networks are like roads that can take you so far, but at some point in your business and career you’re going to need a bridge to introduce you to another set of networks.

Bridges builders are different then networkers. Networkers are masters at building lists and meeting people. They’ve mastered the elevator pitch and define what they do and how they can help you.

Bridge builders understand you, as well as the other guy. They know how to link people together for future success and projects. Bridge builders say things like this, “I know a guy that I want to introduce you to. You guys should work together.” They’re masters at making introductions and connecting people together.

All bridge builders are networkers, but not all networkers are bridge builders.

Going forward you’re going to need both; You’ll need a diverse network, as well as the ability to recognize the bridge builders. You’re also going to need to sharpen your bridge building skills.

Networkers have a tendency to be hoarders, collecting names and addresses like baseball cards. Bridge builders are seasoned executives that know how to put people in places to excel.

Action Steps

  1. Review your Linkedin account and remind yourself of your connections.
  2. Review your personal CRM system/email list and who you’re connections are there.
  3. Now who can you match together?
  4. Make a call, send an email, send a twitter DM and make the introduction
  5. When possible facilitate a luncheon, coffee or happy hour meeting.

Access to larger networks are only feasible when you master the art of bridge building.

Would love to hear your feedback! Feel free to leave a comment.

_image credit: jms87