05/10/2012 12:42 pm ET Updated Jul 10, 2012

The Power of Connections

Every person has connections within the community, within their families, at school and at work, where there is some level of influence. What makes the difference among leaders is how connections are utilized. One of the leader's best assets is their relationships. There is not one leader on this earth who lacks a sphere of connections.

Do you utilize the "Power of Connections?"

The gift we are given, in addition to this life and the place we have been planted, is our capacity to share and be in a variety of relationships.

The level of power among your connections is dependent upon, both how you utilize the connections for mutual benefit and how you maintain and grow the connections.

The recent college graduate has connections among family members, fellow graduates, professors and others encountered during their college experience. Using your talents by sharing what's your vision for this community within those groups will bring opportunities to lead to goal achievement. In turn, your passion to make an impact will inspire others among that group to set goals. Further, your direct relationships may connect you to even more powerful connections that will lead you to the end goal.

This "Power of Connections" is about building relationships.

In the workplace, you develop relationships. These relationships can lead to further professional relationships as well as social relationships. I've found work-based relationships that are cultivated often lead to new opportunities when you share what's in your heart and also listen to their heart. If you don't share, they don't know you.

There are many entrepreneurs that have built prosperous businesses based on relationships not in a vacuum alone -- mentors, advisers who share mistakes, and colleagues you may hire that fill gaps in skill sets. These individuals have joined with them to create success.

This "Power of Connections" is about networking to lead.

As a pastor, I could focus my role on the Sunday worship service and what we call "care and compassion" four our members. However, I have a deep understanding that my role is just as much about the church as it is the entire community. I counsel, mentor, engage with and inspire - and just as importantly listen - to thousands of people who don't even attend Second Ebenezer Church in Detroit and Ebenezer East in Sterling Heights. I deeply understand how the Power of Connections can bring the energy to the entire sphere that will lead to much greater impact than any one of us taking on a task alone. I've found one of my greatest talents is translating what is occurring in the community to leaders who have the capacity to make an impact.

This "Power of Connections" is about leading with relationships and providing inspiration.

Thursday, I will host the first in a series of free seminars on the Power of Connections. This will open the door to the concept. Attendees will have significant amount of time to ask questions. Additionally, you will discover how I use Twitter as part of my Power of Connections toolbox. You are welcome to attend this free event on Thursday, May 10, 7 p.m. at Rosie O'Grady's on Nine Mile west of Woodward in Ferndale, Michigan. Follow me on Twitter @EdgarVann and tag #VannPoC to RSVP.

Also, I will host another free Power of Connections seminar at Bookie's Bar & Grille on Cass Avenue in downtown Detroit on Thursday, June 21 at 6:30 p.m. The theme for this event will be utilizing your sphere of influence. You may also RSVP for the June 21 event on Twitter using hash tag #VannPoC.

You are powerfully connected. From this day forward, consider how you may use your "Power of Connections" to fulfill your vision as well as shared visions with others to lift up our communities in new ways.