Networking Leadership 101

Build your core professional network

Course Details

  • Price: FREE
  • Time: 1.5 hours/week 
  • Duration: 4 weeks
  • Partner: CCL

What You’ll Learn:

  • Understand the key characteristics of effective networks and network “traps” to avoid
  • Use online tools to visualize your current network and discover common network traps to avoid
  • Understand what it takes to be intentional about your network, and how to achieve quick and easy wins to get started
  • Identify specific ways you can cross a network boundary, make a new introduction, and deepen an existing relationship


At some point, you’re going to have call on others for feedback and support. Study after study demonstrates that the more leaders and organizations can manage and navigate their networks, the more they can achieve their goals. But despite its importance, networking sounds distasteful, self-serving, and even phony. We need new a mindset and strategy to maintain critical relationships or leverage existing ones.

Networking 101 will teach you how to build your core professional network. You’ll read about real people—reluctant networkers—who have made a significant impact through just a few connections with others.

Format and Timing:

  • Team-Based Course: We strongly encourage (but do not require) that you form a team of 2-8 people to take the course with. It works best to find friends or coworkers who can meet in person. Need to find team members? You can post to the discussion forums a month before the course starts.
  • Platform: Teachable (+Acumen developed the course. We host this course on the Teachable platform.)
  • Timing: You can work through the materials at your own pace. There are no deadlines or required times for you to log in.

Course Syllabus

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  • 2 reading guides highlighting case studies and examples
  • 2 workshop guides to help you map and understand your own network
  • Instructional videos from Phil Wilburn, a network scientist and faculty member at the Center for Creative Leadership
Section 1: Diagnose Your Network
  • Video: Introduction from Phil Wilburn
  • Video: Leader Network Diagnostic Walkthrough
  • Video: Diagnosing Network Traps
  • Reading: Networking for the Social Sector
  • Reading: Why do YOU care about networking?
  • Reading: The Networking Mindset
  • Reading: 3 Characteristics of Effective Networks
  • Reading: Gender-Related Differences Between Men’s and Women’s Networks
  • Reading: Frequently Asked Questions
  • Reading: Wisdom from an Experienced Networker
  • Activity: Individual Reflection
  • Activity: Socilab Network Visualization
  • Activity: Network Diagnostic
  • Activity: Discussion
  • Activity: 5 Minute Favors
Section 2: Build Your Future Network
  • Video: Networking Leadership Week 2 Introduction
  • Video: Practical Tips for Building Your Network
  • Video: Nick’s Challenge
  • Reading: Reimagining Your Role
  • Activity: Business Card of the Future
  • Reading: 5 Quick Wins to Get Started
  • Reading: The Power of Latent Ties
  • Activity: Plan for My Current Relationships
  • Activity: Individual Reflection
  • Activity: Leadership Network Plan
  • Resources: Further Reading
  • Activity: 5 Minute Favors
The course already started. Can I still enroll?
You can enroll up to 2 weeks after the start date of the course.
When will the next course be offered?
We offer our courses a few times a year. Sign up for our emails to be notified of the next time the course will be offered.
Do I get a certificate for this course?
You will earn a Statement of Accomplishment if you complete 5 of 6 assignments, including the final assignment, by the last day of the course.
How do teams work?
We recommend you find friends or colleagues for your team that you can meet with in person each week. Each team member should register for the course individually. You’ll then be able to form your team on the NovoEd platform once the course begins.
Do I have to complete the course with a team?
While we believe taking the course with a team will give you the best experience and chance of completing the course, it is possible to complete the course individually if you wish.
What should I expect from the assignments?
You will create a Life Map, develop your own personal story, integrate it into a larger presentation, and record your presentation for feedback from your classmates. You should allocate at least one hour a week to complete each assignment.

Supported By

The Center for Creative Leadership is a top-ranked, global provider of executive education that develops better leaders through its exclusive focus on leadership education and research.

What People Are Saying

Jessica Angeli Balbuena

"This is the best networking class I've taken; it gave me a very actionable way to build relationships in a mindful way. I was a reluctant networker, but with this class I feel better equipped to diversify my network."

Jessica Angeli Balbuena, Innovation Strategist