Do you have a strong network? If you had to put a value on your web of connections, what would it be? A renewed focus on building a valuable network each week would undoubtedly bring a growing pipeline of new business. If most of your best clients come as introductions from others, then maybe what you need are more “others” to help you.

In my book The Connectors, I wrote about the one thing that most super-successful individuals in the world have in common. I have spent a lot of time researching and considering their intellectual power, their competitiveness, their determination, their implementation strategies, their staff, their funding options and just about anything that you can think of that may have contributed to their positive results.

However, when we break down the characteristics of extraordinary business people, we find that many of them possess obviously enviable traits: persistence, drive, hard work, intelligence, ability to generate new ideas, ability to change, a “never take no for an answer” mindset, etc. However, there is one additional characteristic that plays a crucial role: an ability to connect with others and form a meaningful network of business relationships.

Connecting truly is the “secret” to success, in part because it is so often discounted. We have a tendency to brush off the importance of our ability to connect and to create relationships when in fact it is the key contributor and explanation for outstanding business success.

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Maribeth Kuzmeski is the founder of Red Zone Marketing, LLC, which consults to Fortune 500 firms on strategic marketing planning and business growth. For more information, go to www.redzonemarketing.com.