The Benefits of Being a "Connector"

By: Barret Van Sicklen

I work as an associate attorney at a local law firm in Madison. Recently, the firm put on a seminar for the associates in which three partners spoke on how they have each grown their professional networks and how that networking has benefitted them. One of the presenters spoke about the benefits of being a "giver." "Givers," he explained, are people that often put their clients, potential clients and co-workers needs before their own. Although "givers" might be generally less effective in business success than "takers" in the short run, they often out distance takers in the long run. He shared that by giving his time, energy, advice, etc. to others, as opposed to taking, he built deeper and broader connections. Additionally, he found that people he "gave" to were more likely to refer their connections to him down the road. In addition to broadening your network, I have always found giving to be personally rewarding.

This seminar also reminded me of a chapter from Malcolm Gladwell's book The Tipping Point. In that book, Gladwell talks about how people are either "Connectors," "Mavens" or "Salesmen." When I read the book, I thought being a Connector could be a great benefit to one's professional development. Gladwell wrote a blog entry about how you can tell if you are a connector, which you can find here: http://gladwell.com/are-you-a-connector/  I found the blog article interesting, and thought you might too.

One of the (many) great things about Magnet, is that it allows people to be "Givers" and become "Connectors." We hope to see you at a Magnet event soon, giving and connecting.