Highly Connected People: Bringing People Together and Influencing Others
Through out our lives our paths cross the paths of many different people. While some people pass through others lives relatively unnoticed, there are those highly connected people that seem to impact every life that they cross.
Connections In Action
Several days ago, I stopped for lunch at a fast food restaurant near my office. While I was eating, a man walked in who seemed to literally know everyone else in the restaurant. As I sat there observing all of these different interactions, I realized that we all know people like this. I was reminded of a joke once told to me by a friend in high school.
The Story of George and Henry
One day, George went to visit his friend Henry. Henry was packing his suitcase, and George asked, “Where are you going?” Henry answered, “I’m going to Hollywood to visit my good friend, Burt Reynolds.”
George replied, “You don’t know Burt Reynolds.” So Henry told George, “Come with me, and you’ll see.” So George flew with Henry to Hollywood, where George met Burt Reynolds, and George and Henry got to be in a movie with him.
A few weeks later, George went to visit his friend Henry again, and once again Henry was packing his suitcase. George asked, “Where are you going now Henry?” Henry answered, “I’m going to Nashville to visit my good friend, Dolly Parton.”
“You don’t know Dolly Parton,” George replied. So once again Henry told George, “Come with me, and you’ll see.” So George flew with Henry to Nashville where Henry introduced George to Dolly Parton, and they got to watch her record an album.
A few weeks later, George went to visit Henry, and once again Henry was packing his suitcase. George asked, “Where are you going this time, Henry?” Henry replied, “I’m going to go see my good friend, the Pope.”
“Now there is no way that you know the Pope!” George replied. Henry once again told George, “Come with me, and you’ll see.” So George flew with Henry to Italy, where they attended Mass at the Vatican. After the service, Henry was talking to the Pope when there was a commotion near the door of the church. They rushed out to find that George had passed out. When George came to, Henry asked, “What happened?”
George said, “I was doing fine until I heard the guy behind me ask, ‘Who’s that guy with Henry?'”
Seemingly Normal Catalysts
Although as far as I know, the story of George and Henry is fictional, it does provide a real life insight into the nature of highly connected people. It is more than just being in a position that allows you access to more people than others have. It is about truly making a personal connection with the people that are around you. I’m sure we’ve all known people like that. People that form these connections not only have influence with others, but also build bridges between the people that they have connections with.
With the advent of the Internet and social media, highly connected people are more apparent than ever. We’ve all had that experience of seeing a post on social media that one friend has on their wall that has been liked by seven other common friends that you had no idea any of these people even knew each other. As social media grows, the real world grows smaller.
Six Degrees (or Less…)
If there is anyone that will forever be known as a highly connected person, it is Kevin Bacon. From the Six Degrees phenomenon, he has used the idea of connecting people to do good with sixdegrees.org. You can check out the story of it in the video below.
This is the idea of what we are supposed to use our connections for. We all should use the connections that we build to help others.