Recently, I finished the excellent book Superconnect: Harnessing the Power of Networks and the Strength of Weak Links by Richard Koch and Greg Lockwood.
It dives into how networks work and makes the argument that weak links(partially defined as people who might be classified as acquaintances) are more effective in helping one make real connections such as a new position rather than one’s strong links (family and close friends). This book is not solely focused on well-heeled business executives but looks at why it’s important to connect the poor and impoverished with the mainstream.
Chapter: Poverty, Urban Rebewal, & Gangsters
” Poverty displays similar characteristics all around the world – in Harlem and New Orleans, in Peru and rural Bangladesh, in Paris and Lindon, in Johannesburg and Detroit. Moreover, the effects of poverty were much the same in the pre-industrial world, in early America and in the Great Depression as they are today. And they are similar in inner cities, remote villages, ghettos and shanty towns. Being poor is about being confined to limited enclaves, unable to break free, unable to climb up to even the lowest level of prosperity and capital formation. Poverty is about the absence of varied networks, of connections to people who are economically and socially active.
It therefore seems likely that poverty could be reduced, and perhaps eventually eliminated, by connecting poor people to mainstream communities, by facilitating weak links to people with money. So we must identify and remove the barriers to the spontaneous and rich flowering of weak links. Given a fair chance, the poor themselves will do the rest.
Have you identified the super connectors in your life? May you are a budding one and if you don’t know maybe it’s time to seek them out.
A few super connectors I know and respect:
- Connecting with Connectors