What is a Connector? Actually it’s not a “what”; it is a “who”. The simplest definition of a Connector is “someone who knows stuff”.
“Connectors are fantastic at expanding your network. They will say things like:
‘Oh you should talk to …’ ‘Have you heard about…’ ‘Let me introduce you to ..’
They think in nodes, not individuals, and they like nothing more than to help you.’”
From “The Tipping Point” by Malcolm Gladwell
“Do you have a mover?” My friend, Linda Burhans, founder of Linda’s Caregiver Connections, asked me that question as we shared a cup of coffee together one morning. “Not yet”, I answered, “I’m about to start researching movers.” “Let me give you the names of two really good ones to start your search,” she said, and promptly produced two brochures. She left that day saying, “Call me if I can help in any way. I know a lot of people”. I checked out her movers, hired one and was more than satisfied. I was also very grateful and I’m ready to call her again for reference to a good handyman. Linda is a Connector and she does know a lot of people. Connectors can be the most important people in your mental “Rolodex”.
According to Malcolm Gladwell, the author who came up with the three basic archetypes into which he says we all fall, Mavens, Connectors, and Salesmen, Connectors are born, not made. They naturally like people, they want to help, and they thoroughly enjoy linking people up for the sheer joy of making it possible for us to help each other to meet life’s challenges with greater ease.
Connectors are drawn to places where they have the opportunity to make connections. They love networking groups and belong to several. They post frequently on Facebook and are quick to answer requests from people needing help. And like Linda did with me, they frequently notice someone who is about to need a good resource and they readily share who and what they know to make the search easier.
One of my favorite people of all time told me that she never met anyone without having the conscious thought, “How might I help this person?” She was a born Connector.
Google, of course, is the almighty Connector that lives in cyberspace. Just type in animal intuitive, Irish step dancing, painting with Jell-O, psychic readers, transcendental meditation or how to make wine out of sea grapes and find everything you want to know about any of those things plus the names of experts in any of those fields. And if the written word isn’t enough to meet your need, make the same entries on YouTube and see just about anything demonstrated right before your eyes.
I made a fascinating connection with herbal expert, Susan Weed, which began on You Tube when a friend of mine began creating herbal infusions and I wanted to know more about them. Eventually, that connection led to me being interviewed on Susan’s program on Wise Woman Radio on an entirely different subject, but in the meantime, I learned a great deal about herbal infusions and a great deal more about Susan as a really interesting person.
The ways in which we are interconnected on this planet and the number of resources that abound for us to activate those interconnections are mind-boggling. Social media venues are currently mighty resource centers for conducting a job search, finding the perfect employee, selecting an appropriate college or other learning center, exploring Spiritual teachings and centers, conducting product or service research, perfecting art forms or parenting skills or finding suggestions for tonight’s dinner and your searches on any subjects of your choice will also lead you directly to experts in all of those areas plus dozens more.
But as amazing as the Internet is, and as helpful, nothing is more satisfying that linking up with a live and skilled Connector in person. Really helpful information seems more believable when you’re talking to a body with skin on it.
Are you a Connector?
According to Charlie Gilkey of Productive Flourishing, you might be a connector if:
- You are constantly referring people to the right expert or service to solve their problem.
- You love networking and talking with people, just for the sake of doing it.
- When you’re talking to people, they say, “Wow – you know everyone!”
- The stories you tell always focus on the people, not the ideas or the sizzle.
If you are a true Connector, you will have much for which to be grateful your whole life, not the least of which is, you’ll never, ever find yourself alone.
Have you hugged your favorite “Connector” today?
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