Fixed organisational structures and procedures
A private circle of friends is self-organising and not hierarchically structured. Of course, there are always the particularly active ones who represent a kind of node in the clique; of course, there are always “alpha animals” and “followers” in circles of friends. But in the end, everything in this structure is grassroots and does not run according to fixed rules. There are no “operating instructions”, at most common greeting rituals (very popular especially in men’s circles). In a professional network, on the other hand, there are rules, hierarchies and structures. The frequency of meetings, the division of the work to be done and the type of communication are relatively clearly defined, depending on the degree of organisation and professionalism of the respective group.
This is, of course, a very simplified description. There are certainly circles of friends that are also business partnerships and have fixed structures and rules. Likewise, there are professional clubs whose members are also friends. However, it must be noted that – especially in Germany – most people do have a circle of friends, but very often separate it relatively clearly from their professional life. This is usually a mistake. Because history proves that particularly high-performing groups almost always consist of people who represent a network of private-professional relationships and that people who are generally regarded as “successful” – i.e. who achieve their private and professional life goals – usually make no distinction between their private and professional networks.