When I first joined LinkedIn one of the first terms to stand out was “LION”. A LION as most of you know is an open networker on LinkedIn. The term has been diluted somewhat over time. The original LIONS have a code of honor that they follow and as others have come along and co-opted the name, the variations have multiplied.
Being a LION is a strategic decision. It’s not a right or wrong decision, simply a choice one has made in regards to how they are connecting and growing their network. Connecting to a Lion or Lions can grow your network exponentially, allowing you to see more members in your searches. The downside is that if you request a introduction, they likely do not know the person.
Over time I have encountered different people with different strategies, but I finally narrowed it down to three types of networkers on LinkedIn. In addition to the LION, we have the Turtle and the Hound Dog (keeping with the animal theme).
A Turtle is a Closed Networker, or someone who has chosen to connect only with those that they know very well. On the positive side if you ask for a introduction, it is likely to be a quality introduction. On the down side, they will likely not have much of an impact on the size of your network.
I fall in the third category, Hound Dog. A Hound Dog is someone who connects to those that they know, or connects to those that they would like to know better. A Hound Dog will have some impact on the size of your network, less than a Lion and more than a Turtle. Introduction requests will be better than a Lions, but not as good as a Turtle.
I would guess that the majority of members fall in the Hound Dog category, a smaller amount in the LION category, and even less in the Turtle category. Over time you may find that you move among the three types.
How about you? Are you a Lion, a Turtle, or a Hound Dog? (Tomorrow I’ll tell you why after almost 3 years on LinkedIn, I’m moving more towards a Lion strategy, and you should consider doing so as well)