The New Power Girls: How To Put A New Spin On The Old Boys Network in Business

Monday's post was about a second common trait I've seen among the Power Girls I know and have met: They are highly collaborative.

As entrepreneur and fellow Power Girl Meghan Cleary had referenced, it's not unlike the "Old Boys Network" that has driven business for decades - only rather than it being on a golf course, Power Girls connect at spas, over dinner, or even while hiking or working out at the gym. They share high level, high profile introductions, tip each other to media opportunities, parties and events, and extend invitations to key meeting and speaking engagements over email, text and IM.

Power Girls understand that there's strength in numbers. They don't just tap the insight of other women entrepreneurs, but encourage and support their success.

Here's how they do it:

Keep It Small: Networking at the executive level is rarely done via big parties or industry mixers, regardless of gender. For most Power Girls, it's no different. They mainly connect through one-on-one meetings or small, exclusive dinners and get-togethers, which allow for conversations to flow freely and remained targeted while giving everybody a chance to relax (as the environment is almost always more casual than large events). The group gatherings I attend are generally 3-7 people, max. It fosters a great climate for brainstorming as well as meeting new entrepreneurs and executives.

Keep It Selective: One of the key elements to networking isn't just how but who. Power Girls know that it's most advantageous to connect with like-minded individuals and coordinate dinners or drinks with an eye on synergy between attendees. It can also help guests feel more comfortable in sharing insight or contacts. As entrepreneur and media personality Shira Lazar said via email, "There needs to be a trust and respect factor between women to give your contacts. You don't want anyone to misrepresent you in a situation and possibly sever a relationship you've developed."

Keep It Consistent: Few Power Girls I know and have met are inconsistent in any area of their lives and networking is no different. They regularly make an effort to connect with fellow women in business to put heads together and conjure new ideas. It's done via a variety of ways, from email to IM to in-person meetings, but most importantly, it's constant. For example, I recently connected a highly successful fellow female entrepreneur with a very high profile web video network over email. A few months ago, she sparked the idea of my online documentary,

Keep It Focused: While gatherings are often in a social or relaxed environment, make no mistake - it's all about business. Attendees may be munching on exotic cheeses from Joan's on Third, sipping champagne and touching on life topics such as men and dating, but they keep the emphasis on their companies. We meet, talk shop, talk men, you name it. It's fun, but we keep it productive as well.

Regardless of how they connect, Power Girls keep an eye on the prize: Networking and ultimately, benefiting their businesses - and they have fun while doing it.