Life as a connector is not too bad. You become a go-to person. It’s not easy to monetize but the karma carries over and makes the world a better place. There’s little surprise that I ended up connecting the dots as a management consultant.
Social media has made the world convenient and often frictionless. We are connected yet we are acquaintances. I know you just enough to be a good person and make you a better one. The ‘Acquaintance Economy’ is doing well across all social media channels. You gain something when connecting with someone new even if it’s just a different point of view. If you know connectors you will be in the right place most of the time. The bigger question is: what is the purpose beyond connection?
Wharton Professor Adam Grant wrote eloquently in his recent book Give and Take that “most people operate as either takers, matchers, or givers.” Takers try to get as much as possible from others. Transactional types known as Matchers aim to trade evenly. Givers are the exceptional ones, giving so much without expecting much in return. Everyone knows these types. Givers are the school teachers raising your children. You think about Peace Corp alumni like Mike Honda (D-CA) and Reed Hastings (Netflix). Mike Honda actually began his career as a public school teacher. Entrepreneurs like Reed Hastings transform communities by creating thousands of jobs. Almost anyone involved with Faith-based communities or nonprofits is a Giver. You give back in the corporate world, too. Your employees expect it in the mission statement.
Giving in its purest form can seem thankless in a world bent on rewarding Matchers and Takers. But one is imbued by a sense of purpose beyond the daily rut. You maximize your human potential. Anyone can become a Giver.
“Happiness begins where selfishness ends.”
― John Wooden