From the desk of Michael J. Hughes, North America’s Networking Guru. Every time I sit down with a professional and discuss her/his success, we invariably zero in on a few key relationships that have been instrumental, even invaluable, during the journey. Initially, these are referred to as accidental or attributed to luck.

Further discussion, however, identifies a number of fundamental factors that created, caused or contributed to the outcome. A few years ago, as part of my networking research, I stumbled upon a body of knowledge surrounding the role networks play in our universe and our lives.

Networks are all around us and are governed by universal laws. Becoming more aware of these “secret” network laws and harnessing their incredible potential can dramatically accelerate your ability to succeed in business and in life. Listed below are the Seven Natural Laws of Networks and a practical strategy for each.

I- Law of Consistency. Networks are scientific entities that have specific and predictable properties. Strategy: Become more aware of the power and potential of your networks (the “real” network of contact, colleague and client relationships that are all around you). They are your most powerful and productive asset.

II- Law of Interconnectivity. Every link in a network is automatically connected, directly or indirectly, to all other links by virtue of the network itself. Strategy: Your network is waiting to serve you. Be crystal clear about what it is you want and need, then communicate it consistently to your network.

III- Law of Random Growth. Networks are in a continuous state of random growth. Strategy: your network is growing every day. In the world of networks, there are no accidents. Are you seeing each new contact as the launch pad for a relationship that will become your path to future success?

IV- Law of Strength in Weak Ties. New network connections can often have more power to impact results than existing ones. Strategy: make it a point to seek and out and nurture new contacts. These people only see you in the context of your current situation (instead of all the history that may be hindering a new role or mandate)

V- Law of Preferred Attachment. Some network connections, because of their positioning, maturity or influence, have far greater impact within a network. Strategy: Not all relationships are created equal. Identify the highest-value connections in your network, then prioritize your time and effort on these.

VI- Law of Context. The context of a network connection generally dictates its strength and positioning. Strategy: the foundational success factor of every important relationship is trust. Context (sense of familiarity, comfort and security with another person) is the easiest and most effective way to build trust.

VII- Law of Natural growth. Relationship-related networks follow the natural evolution process: slow start, rapid growth and steady decline (unless renewed). Strategy: Relationships take time, require investment and need to be nurtured. You must take full responsibility for growing the relationships that enter your life as networking contacts.

Would you like to know more about the Natural Laws of Networks? I have created a 10-page Executive Overview on this topic that has detailed information and specific resources to leverage each. Simply email me at info@NetworkingForResults.com to receive your complimentary copy.