Cornell Day 5: Dig Your Well Before You Are Thirsty

My friends and family like to make fun of me for my excessive use of social media such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

I like to connect with people both through face to face experiences, but also in a virtual environment. 

I like to build relationships with people and that is extremely important when we are in an industry about people helping people. 

For the last day of our session at Cornell (last Friday), we focused on networks and using them to our advantage in business. Two sets of resources that we all possess as people are human capital and social capital.

Human capital consists of a variety of aspects including:

  • Knowledge
  • Skills
  • Abilities
  • Needs
  • Motives
  • Character (Integrity, Reputation)
  • Traits (Charisma,Confidence, and Conscientiousness)

Social captial is the resources we have available to use based on our personal and business networks. The value of social capital resides in the opportunity to create relationships with other people. 

As part of our class, we were asked to complete a LinkedIn Map based on the connections we have through their site. Here is mine:


I have ties to the credit union community. Having those connections has provided me with a lot of great opportunities and experiences, and was also a key contributor to the creation of the Servus Young Leaders Network.

Throughout the week, we’ve been challenged with looking outside of our worlds to bring creativity and innovation into our credit unions. As our instructors have repeatedly said, creativity is an import and export business. It is about taking an idea from here and putting it over there.

It’s obvious that I have a tremendous opportunity to increase my social capital outside of the credit union community. Our facilitor Kathleen O’Connor summed this up perfectly by saying, “You need to dig your well before you are thirsty.” While I am not currently in a member facing or direct people leadership role, it doesn’t mean that I should not be looking for opportunities to connect with people both in my community and outside of the credit union industry.

I’ve started digging a well, but I need to dig it deeper and wider to get the gold.