Did you know that the average wedding is attended by approximately 150 guests?
This number is quite fascinating and scientific. The average person has 3 – 5 close friends. These friends are typically in the wedding party. In addition to the few close friends, we tend to have another 95 connections bringing our total to 100. These 100 are the ones that we share life with. The 100 (The Who according to Bob Beaudine) consists of family members, school mates, co-workers, associates from churches or clubs, and people in your neighborhood. If you multiply your 100 by two to account for the bride and groom and subtract those that are unable to attend, you have your average guest attendance to a wedding.
Knowing that the average person has 100 people in their life, the idea of “Six Degrees of Separation” is astounding. If you are not familiar with the theory of 6 degrees, it states that we are all connected to other people in the world by 6 connections or less. That seems nearly impossible if we only have 100 people in our lives.
“6 Degrees of Separation” was coined by Stanley Milgram and was tested in the 1960’s when they observed how long it would take to ship a package from the west coast to the same stock broker in Boston by mailing the package from one acquaintance to another. It was found that the package made it to this stock broker in 6 steps or less. What is even more amazing is that most of the packages ultimately made it to the stock broker through the same 3 men. These 3 men were connected by what many call “super connectors.”
Super Connectors are individuals that are not average when it comes to their personal network. Most of us are comfortable keeping our 100 in the life around us based on what we like. Super connectors, on the other hand, are willing to give up some comfort and take part in a wide variety of clubs, associations, and interact with many various cultural groups. For this reason, their 100 is wide and diverse and touches many other individuals. It is the super connectors that ultimately connect our world and make it much smaller than it seems.
A common phrase you hear is “it’s now what you know, but who you know that matters.” This is the notion that nothing important happens in life without the help of someone else. In fact, it is said that 80% of all jobs are filled without ever being advertised. They are filled based on the hiring manager knowing someone or hearing about someone from someone he already knows and likes. If our personal network is so valuable, then a super connection must be extremely valuable. It may be hard to put a true numerical value on the worth of these individuals and what they offer to those around them. Many would say a super connectors potential is unlimited. In fact, it makes me want to be a super connector when I start to think about it.
But wait, this week I just put my third son in kindergarten. Only I put him in a different school than my first two children. I walked in the building and felt out of place. I was anxious and uncomfortable. I didn’t feel like I had the energy to start building relationships with a new group of people. Honestly, I didn’t know if I even wanted to build a new set of relationships. Then I thought of the super connectors. They don’t look at a new school, club, or neighborhood as a burden. Rather, it is an opportunity to connect with new people ultimately expanding their reach to get what they need when needed providing them extreme value to their life both financially and in personal satisfaction.
I stopped and thanked God for the opportunity to increase the size of my network and the power of connections.
I’m excited to see what opportunities may present themselves with this new group of people.
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