A Strategic Approach to Relationship Building from Andy Lopata, Author of 'Connected Leadership'

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Andy Lopata is a professional relationships strategist and author, who specialises in nurturing business relationships and mentoring leaders.

From freelance writing to developing training courses, Andy moved in to exploring networking and how to focus on building professional connections.

He spoke to us about his advice for business leaders, how he got to where he is, and his new book, Connected Leadership.

Tell us about your career journey to date - how did you become a professional relationships strategist?

In my late 20s, I quit my corporate career to become a freelance writer. My father had started a business network with a business partner a few months before and he invited me to work with them while I found some writing commissions.

Of course, I never became a freelance writer - and never looked back. We grew the network into one of the largest in Europe before my father and I exited seven years later.

During my time with the network I had developed training courses for members and also presented to external organisations, initially to promote the network and then to teach some of the major components of networking.

After one failed business venture after leaving the network, we focused the business on

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