I’ve explained the benefits of banding together, but at the same time, don’t let that be the extent of your network.

Don’t succumb to the echo chamber.

A mentor of mine, Tom Bogle, talks about the benefits of both horizontal and vertical integration in your network. While connecting horizontally with those similar to you is a great way to find safety and band together, you have to be weary of being too similar, an echo chamber. You never want to find yourself in a situation without new ideas and point-of-views flowing in.

Achieve vertical integration. Connect with those of a higher status, more experience, and a better-developed point-of-view.

If you’re the smartest one in the room, you’re in the wrong room.

-Richard Tirendi