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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Intro
In my quest to build a network, I haven't been able to find anything like a formula or list of absolute musts in order to acquire political assets.

I define a political asset as: "An individual with (mainly political, influential, or professional) value that another individual (you or I) derives benefit from or can leverage to provide future benefit."

Basically, a political asset is someone with whom you have an agreement of mutual benefit, typically in your professional sphere. That benefit can be obtained in the future, or is currently being obtained. They're not acquaintances nor are they friends, but they could become friends.

The good stuff
Here's a list, in descending order of importance, of qualities that I think people in general need to build with a potential political asset in order to turn them into one. I.e., if I wanted to have you in my network and I consider you a potential political asset, I would work down this list.

1. Establish trust + mutual benefit

  1. Understand the individual's motivations, desires, ambitions, etc...
  2. Understand clearly how the individual can help me attain my goals
  3. Create a pact of mutual benefit; help attain each other's goals, help each other grow
2. Establish your confidence in my abilities and potential

  1. Show myself to be competent in my responsibilities
  2. Show that I have a network that is actionable (that the network can be leveraged to get things done) so that the individual knows of my influence and wants to be a part of my network.
    • ​(This is for more advanced networks)

3. Establish respect
  1. What qualities does the individual admire? (Humor, piety, intelligence, etc.)
    • Show these qualities as best I can without overextending myself and verging on fakery. (Being a fake is too much work and can be bad for health)
  2. What are the individual's needs and weaknesses?
    • Help the individual in these regards.

*Notes
  • Some of the above qualities may overlap in some way
  • Importance and ordering of the above qualities may differ because people are different
  • This is not an exhaustive list
So...
  • What do you think about this list?
  • What would you add or subtract from the list?
  • Do you agree with the ordering? If not, how would you change it?
  • Feel free to constructively critique the list, definitions, anything, especially if you engage in politics of any manner (office, professional, public, community, etc.)
 

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I would also add doling out favors to others thereby making others indebted to you thereby giving you the currency to extract favors from others in the future (with a reasonable interest rate of course) and therefore increase your "favors account receivables" part of your balance sheet...especially if the favor costs little to nothing to you yet means a lot to the counterparty - now THAT's profit...of course, only do this to those who will actually return the favor hence only do this to those with good karma....also only do this to those who actually have something (or could have something) to give back in terms of counterfavor otherwise you're just wasting your resources....
 

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I would also add doling out favors to others thereby making others indebted to you thereby giving you the currency to extract favors from others in the future (with a reasonable interest rate of course) and therefore increase your "favors account receivables" part of your balance sheet...especially if the favor costs little to nothing to you yet means a lot to the counterparty - now THAT's profit...of course, only do this to those who will actually return the favor hence only do this to those with good karma....also only do this to those who actually have something (or could have something) to give back in terms of counterfavor otherwise you're just wasting your resources....
I think it's important to recognize that mutual trust and understanding should come before this, as I get the vibe from your post that these favors you mention could be handed out whether the recieving individual wants them or not. Not everybody wants to be in debt. Power-playing them into it could be experienced as a dirty strategy by the other party and damage the trust between you and therefore hurt you more than profit you, especially in the long run.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I think favors are implied in a mutual relationship, but these were good points:
therefore increase your "favors account receivables" part of your balance sheet...especially if the favor costs little to nothing to you yet means a lot to the counterparty - now THAT's profit...of course, only do this to those who will actually return the favor hence only do this to those with good karma....also only do this to those who actually have something (or could have something) to give back in terms of counterfavor otherwise you're just wasting your resources....
But, I've never heard of/experienced a case where interest was accrued on a favor. If anything, I think the value of a favor depreciates with time, at least if the relationship is not maintained.
 
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