Never dine alone. That is the credo that has helped Muhtar Kent become CEO of Coke. Among the people he has networked with are a doctor who became the first post-communist prime minister of Albania and a college professor who later served as deputy prime minister of Poland. Both relationships came in useful in 1989 when Kent was asked to create an eastern European operation for Coke – a region where the soft drinks giant had absolutely no infrastructure.
Other leaders have networked in different ways. Some still swear by old fashioned business cards. Others loiter outside boardrooms waiting for a chance to meet directors. (If you do this, remember there’s a thin line between “You’re promoted” and stalking.)