Connect for Life

What does it Mean to “Connect” in an Authentic Way to Create Your Own “Social Capital?”

social capital

Social Capital!

 

What exactly is that? Interested?

 

I like social media, and I like Capital (big C) so how does it get created?

 

Wikipedia says that social capital is “the networks of relationships among people who live and work in a particular society, enabling that society to function effectively.”

 

So how does that translate in a Digital-First economy?

 

The base definition is essentially the fabric of a modern functioning society, but if we apply it to relationship management and networking, I think Social Capital is:

 

*The value you create by having a deep and broad network of people who know and trust you*

 

Why is that valuable?

 

The bigger your network of people you can count on to solve problems, the more you become the connector for your friends, colleagues, and community. A true connector is at the center of everything.

 

  1. Connectors deliver projects on time and on budget because they make sure the right people are at the table.
  2. Connectors deliver higher value to their clients because they have extensive networks of solution providers.
  3. Connectors become the “trusted advisors” that people count on for insight and creative ideas.

 

At the end of the day, if you become a true “connector,” the value of your network is huge and therefore, you have inherent “social capital.”

 

So how is that created?

 

First, you must be a giver!  Some of you just said “oh crap” in your heads. Being a giver and wanting to help others, without thinking of yourself first, is the key.

 

Then, and only then, do these activities generate social capital.

 

  1. Linkage – send an idea to a friend, colleague, or prospect. They might have mentioned they are looking for a new car, or a mechanic, or a developer. Give freely.
  2. Introductions – always be connecting people in your network to others and then step away. People will see this as a connection with no strings attached.
  3. Advise – give away what you know for free. Yep, my consulting friends, it’s hard but trust me on this one. They won’t be able to implement it without you!
  4. Comment – you need to share your knowledge through commenting on blogs, articles or posts. It takes time but establishes you as a subject matter expert.
  5. Give – always be looking for an opportunity to make a gift to someone. Gifts come in many forms. It could be a relationship or an introduction, or it could be an idea. Ideas are not underrated.

 

The key to developing social capital is being a servant leader and then executing consistently these five activities.

 

What are your thoughts on developing social capital?

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