“Lots of people want to ride with you in the limo, but what you want is someone who will take the bus with you when the limo breaks down.”
— Oprah Winfrey
As human beings we were created with the innate need for connection. There is an inherent interdependency that is wired into our DNA that makes connection essential. It is critically important that we connect with the right people. This is especially true for those of us who are leaders because those to whom we connect can either further our vision or hinder it. One of the major keys of success is ensuring that we are strategically connected to the right people. Practically, the DOT has the premise in place where the requirement for riding in the HOV lane means you must have a person in the car with you. You can’t have access to the HOV lane without another person in the car. In some scenarios in order to have access and to accelerate in certain avenues you must be strategically aligned with another person. We WIN through strategic connections!
Throughout the discourse of the story of Nehemiah we see that he is providentially aligned with key people who play a critical role in fulfilling his vision of rebuilding the walls of the city of Jerusalem. Without these essential connections Nehemiah would have had a difficult time completing his objective. His strategic alliance with these individuals was just as necessary as the passion that he had for the people of Jerusalem and for the rebuilding effort.
As leaders today it is important for us to recognize the importance of surrounding ourselves with and connecting to those who are able to maximize our progress. The wrong person can prohibit and minimize advancement. The wrong person can distract and reroute your trajectory in a way that frustrates purpose. The wrong person can discourage those who are truly assigned to your vision. Right connection is key!
There are three kinds of people with whom we should be certain to connect in order to accelerate to the next level. Firstly, we should be sure to connect with people who have influence. Secondly, we must align ourselves with people with resources and capacity to dispense provisions for our objectives. Finally, it is important to connect with persons who are able to run with the vision.
Connecting with people of influence is a critical step in accelerating to the next level. When looking at Nehemiah one of the first connections that we see is his connection with the Persian king Artaxerxes. In his capacity as the cupbearer to King Artaxerxes, Nehemiah was in a favorable position that allowed him not only to serve the king wine but also to advise and counsel him. His connection to King Artaxerxes gave him access to the influence of someone who was able to authorize and commission his vision as well as give him access to those who would supply provisions to fund his vision (Nehemiah 2:7-8). It all began with the Persian king exercising his considerable influence to open doors for Nehemiah that would otherwise have remained closed.
We WIN Through Strategic Connections
Connecting with people of great influence can give you access to areas that would otherwise be unavailable to you. It is critical to connect with people who have influence. Influence is a resource that can access avenues to which even money has no entrance. No longer can we align ourselves with people who only move in spheres of influence that mirror our own. The wise person connects with people that wield a diversified range of influence in areas of community, government, and business.
Another step in accelerating to the next level is aligning ourselves with people who have resources and provisions. I am a firm believer that God assigns people to our lives who are specifically situated to provide resources that are uniquely customized to push us into our next level. Still utilizing his connection with the king, Nehemiah asked King Artaxerxes to connect him with Asaph who had oversight of the king’s forest. Through his connection with the king and Asaph we see for the first time in scripture something akin to a federal grant where Nehemiah received wood out of the forest of the king for his rebuilding effort.
One of the final components of accelerating our leadership with respect to connecting with the right people is ensuring that we connect with those who are able to able to run with the vision. When Nehemiah arrived to Jerusalem from Persia he inspected the walls of the city to see for himself the state of things that had been communicated to him. He did his initial inspection of the walls without the knowledge of the officials and those who would do the work with him, but when he conveyed his sentiments to them and the vision that the Lord had placed in his heart the men were immediately ready to run with it and make it actionable (Nehemiah 2:17-18).
There are people specifically assigned to your vision who will catch it and run with it! It is imperative to connect with the people who are supportive and disconnect with those who have no desire to support what you are doing. We must learn to “Go with the Goers”! In other words connect with and invest energy in those who catch your vision and are postured to run with it. These are the people who are graced to catapult you to the next level and help you secure your WIN!
Your next WIN is one strategic connection away!
Dr. Craig L. Oliver, Sr.
General Overseer – Pastors Division