What’s your social capital? If you’ve been through job interviews recently, or have been considered for a promotion, I’ll bet you’ve been asked about “your social capital.” Employers want to know what and how much social capital you have to improve their connections, word-of-mouth advertising, potential partnerships, resources and alliances.
People are interested in your net worth, so to speak and they want to know how much you have invested in your network relationships that will in turn produce big dividends for their company. In other words… how big is your net and is it working?
I recently re-read “The Tipping Point:How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference” by Malcolm Gladwell. I consider this book to be the No. 1 “must-read” for this decade. First released in 2000, I was aware of Gladwell’s research for the book from reading an article he wrote for New Yorker magazine in 1996 in which he first wrote about connectors. I was spellbound as I read this article that completely captured the message I was so eager to spread to the world; the power of word-of-mouth referrals combined with a connector who has a strong and diverse network, can tip any idea, product or person into an overnight success!
We all know at least one “connector,” or as Gladwell likes to call them, mavens. Maven is a Yiddish word that means one who accumulates knowledge. According to Gladwell, mavens are information brokers who share and trade what they know and mentor others on how to expand their world.
My friend Meg is a maven and one of the most connected people I know. She is a natural “matchmaker” who is responsible, thus far, for arranging six marriages and hundreds of partnerships, jobs and alliances. I’m convinced if you want to meet anyone in this world, Meg can connect you. She is probably only one or two degrees removed from the person or information that you are seeking and is always happy and eager to help anyone who asks.