The Lion and the Mouse, or How To Start Networking Without Talking To Strangers

Greg Roche
9 min readJun 7, 2020
Image Courtesy of Jean Wimmerlin via Unsplash —

Once when a Lion was asleep a little Mouse began running up and down upon him; this soon wakened the Lion, who placed his huge paw upon him, and opened his big jaws to swallow him.

“Pardon, O King,” cried the little Mouse: “forgive me this time, I shall never forget it: who knows but what I may be able to do you a turn some of these days?”

The Lion was so tickled at the idea of the Mouse being able to help him, that he lifted up his paw and let him go. Sometime after the Lion was caught in a trap, and the hunters who desired to carry him alive to the King, tied him to a tree while they went in search of a wagon to carry him on.

Just then the little Mouse happened to pass by, and seeing the sad plight in which the Lion was, went up to him and soon gnawed away the ropes that bound the King of the Beasts. “Was I not right?” said the little Mouse.


When we think of growing our vibrant professional networks, we believe we need to connect with important people. CEOs, CFOs, COOs, CHROs, or anyone with a C in their title.

We want to connect with people we think are powerful because we assume they know a lot of people and can introduce us to the people they know. We believe people of influence are the only ones who can help us, but the fable teaches us something different.

You never know who could help you out. Focusing on people who are important is hard. They get lots of requests from lots of people. If you don’t know them or have a relationship with them, they may not give you an opportunity to talk to them.

Not because they aren’t good people, but because they get a lot of requests, and if they start responding to all of them, they will never get anything else done.

As you build your professional network, be different than all the people who are vying for the attention of people in high places: start with people you already know.

You never know who might be able to help you.

When I give this advice, I hear people say, “I don’t know anyone.”

Greg Roche

I teach introverts to be better networkers. Get my networking tips every Saturday at