Discovering the Art of Connecting
How people connect has always fascinated me and my whole life I have been connecting people. In the book The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell, I found out why I am this way....I am a connector. Connectors are the people who "link us up with the world ... people with a special gift for bringing the world together." To quote a great line from the movie Sabrina, "I met myself in"...not Paris...but the pages of The Tipping Point. Sincethen I have been viewing my life, past, present and future in light of this understanding. I just naturally love to connect people.
I do it everyday both professionally and for fun! I can't stop myself. Connectors meet someone new and immediately think, "Who can I connect them with?" As a teenager I was known as a matchmaker, and then as I entered into banking I was known as "the person who knows everyone!" As I entered into my consulting career this trend continued. I was a natural community builder before anyone called it "community" and before the tools were there to support it. My natural instincts would say "why reinvent the wheel?" So I would "connect" a small business with basic computer needs with a young technology intern who needed a first job on his resume. Or I would connect a general contractor with a great cabinet guy, and on it would go.
When my business went national and then international, I would find other consulting firms who had like passions, missions, and business beliefs and connect them to my local clients for additional support. I was never threatened because the desire to connect overcame any fear of competition. According to The Tipping Point connectors are but one group of people who play a critical role in word of mouth epidemics. In other words, we can cause a trend or a fad all on our own! As the world of social networks and communities began to infiltrate my world of technology and software, I began to see how I could use the unique gift of being a connector to focus my attention on building communities and connecting different groups of people to make them all stronger. And the best part of it all was that, it wasn't work! It was easy. It was natural! It was sheer joy.
Early in my career one of my strongest desires was to make a difference. I wanted to make a difference with my clients, with my community and in my world. As I began to see the rise of the internet in 2004 and then later social networks, my desire began to mature. Today, my mission is to connect, engage, and enhance mission fulfillment for my clients and in doing so fulfill my own mission. Malcolm Gladwell continues in his book The Tipping Point by saying that "The point about Connectors is that by having their foot in so many different worlds, they have the effect of bringing them all together."
This knowledge was so exciting to me! I met myself there, and then I purposed to move forward in light of this new found knowledge and confidence. So what does this mean for you? By engaging a well seasoned and trained connector, your message and community can spread like an epidemic, become sticky like glue, and provide added benefits through connections with many people from different fields who can enhance your growth and maximize your success. Look for these traits in those you work with to increase your chances to succeed. For this Connector, what I do is not work, connecting others is as essential to me as breathing is for others.