What Would Paul Revere Do?

By Lyndsee Cordes

Paul RevereOn April 18, 1775, two men rode through the countryside around Boston, sounding the alarm that the British were advancing. As a result of their efforts, a militia of minutemen was assembled in time to meet the British troops for a battle that would begin the American Revolution. While two men rode that night, chances are you’ve only heard of one.

Paul Revere (the one you’ve heard of) knew people throughout the region with a variety of backgrounds, and he understood that his network would be best positioned to spread the word. And because he was well known in the area, people were likely to trust his word about the oncoming armies. As a result, Revere’s message was carried much farther than he was able to cover in one night. William Dawes (the one you might not know) also set off to warn people in neighboring towns, but he was able to generate very little action from the towns he visited. He was not as well connected, so he wasn’t sure who to contact, and those he did warn were less likely to act on the information he was carrying because they didn’t know him. More than 20 years later, we don’t count our connections by how many we can reach in a night’s ride. But the same principle holds true: genuine connections are the key to a successful network.

Building a professional network is a career-long process. The following tips from ACR members throughout the specialty can help you establish strong connections with a wide variety of contacts.

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