A Lesson in Networking from Jack Bauer

I’ll admit, I don’t watch a lot of TV. In fact, I’m one of the millions of people who have “cut the cord”. That said, there are a few shows that I follow using the feeds provided by the cable networks. One of the shows is 24 starting Kiefer Sutherland as Jack Bauer.

If you haven’t seen the show, Jack Bauer is a government law enforcement agent who works for the Counter Terrorist Unit (CTU). He use many tactics to sous out criminals – some of whom are part of his own government. Jack has an arsenal of weapons and communication tools, but I believe one of his most powerful assets is his connections to others in the show.

Case in point. In the last episode a key member of the CIA was killed. The team had a fingerprint of the person who killed the CIA analyst, but the fingerprint was in a classified database. Of course the person covering up the murder was the head of the London office of the CIA. This meant that Jack wouldn’t have an easy time getting the information.

To solve the problem Jack had to use his wits and external resources and this is where the lesson comes in. Jack reached out to a contact of his who was an expert in identifying classified fingerprints. In doing so, he figured out that the head of the CIA was part of the murder plot.

Without Jack’s contact it would have taken hours (days, maybe never) to find out who was connected to the killer. Of course, this wouldn’t make for very good TV; however, you can use this technique in your own situation.

Do you need something in your business? Reach out to your contacts. Ask them who they know or if they can help. What this also underlines is that a network should be broad and diverse. Don’t limit yourself to just the people around you. Connect with people in other departments of your company. Connect with people in other companies. And, connect with people in your industry.

Happy networking!