scissorIt’s a lesson I learned as soon as I left big corporate life: you must actively surround yourself with the right group of colleagues, feed the connectivity and unfortunately, pull the cord on the ones who no longer make sense.

Not just once a year at a conference, as I used to think was enough.

All the time.

It takes effort.

So was the implication of a question posed to me at a party this weekend: not only how do you sever a LinkedIn connection but what are the implications of doing so. Pointedly, how do I as a LinkedIn power user approach this?

I was once told that I collect people like baseball cards. Yes, I arrange them, reorder them as needed, and reshuffle them continually. Some fall to the bottom. Not by my doing as I encourage constant connectivity. The laggards self-define.

I work the card deck of my connections on a continual basis, feed them great quality material (I am told), offer them ideas and opportunities that are uniquely showing the value of my personal brand, and yes, discard those who are no longer viable.

The fear factor looms. Often I really deliberate over releasing a connection. And sometimes, who knows, will a so-so connection becomes valuable through a referral to a trusted colleague? What if…

As we say in my favorite networking group “What goes around comes around” and “it’s better to giver than receive” and I might add, these mantras works the very best with the most valuable group of people I can possibly surround myself with.

Why waste energy on those who do not feel the warmth and reflect it back?

I sow, nurture, prune, fertilize, work, weed and discard.

So, reader, connections prosper only when you give them attention. They may return some of the privilege of connection to you. It’s a complicated, uneven equation.

Some just aren’t worthy.