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In the introduction of their 2018 book Superconnector, Ryan Paugh and Scott Gerber ask, “Why should you listen to anything we have to say?”
Their response is quite simple: they’ve lived what they preach.
All of their success is owed to a mutual friend who introduced them years earlier. This friend, Dan Schawbel, saw two young connectors with similar goals and made an introduction.
This is the essence of a Superconnector: an individual who seems to know everyone and is constantly building communities.
In this book, the authors provide us with a guide on how to become a superconnector.
Networking, in their view, is dead. We have lost touch with the real purpose of networking, and it has become an afterthought of meeting individuals, trading business cards, and connecting on LinkedIn.
In reality, networking is about building lasting, mutually-beneficial relationships. The authors conclude that our networking value is based on the quality of relationships, not the number of connections.
Ryan and Scott provide a road map to becoming a connector and superconnector. They begin by helping us understand how to think like a connector, not a networker. They use anecdotes, such as the story of Lewis Howes, an entrepreneur and author. Howes refuses to network; to him, it has become a transactional relationship. Instead of networking in the traditional sense, he strives to connect and add value.
They also highlight the three types of connectors:
- Connection Executors
Thinkers have plenty of ideas, enablers assemble people, and executors make things happen. Understanding who you are is vital to understanding your strengths, weaknesses, and who you need to work with.
When describing the need for selectivity and association, Ryan and Scott again utilize anecdotes, showcasing the work of Mitch Kanner, who connects brands with influential people, and Jayson Gaignard, of MastermindTalks.
Kanner focuses on working with a small group of clients with whom he shares values and goals. Gaignard associates himself with leading authors and entrepreneurs, who provide him with credibility to host exclusive events. They use selectivity and association to benefit themselves and their network.
The authors make an important insight into the Pyramid of Influence, which guides us to who we need to connect with. Instead of shooting right to the top of the pyramid, such as the CEO or President, we have to work up the pyramid. Connecting with each level and building a strong base of people with access to the top is crucial.
Having a mutually beneficial relationship requires generosity from both sides. Yet, superconnectors aren’t looking for an instant return on investment. Instead, they look for long term reciprocation; they understand that each relationship can have its highs and lows.
Ryan and Scott provide valuable tips on the basic do’s and don’t. From communicating effectively, asking questions, and introducing yourself, there are plenty of things that can go wrong. Plenty of eye-opening stories are presented by the authors to illustrate their tips and tricks.
By the end of Superconnector, you’ll have a deeper understanding of what it means to be one and how to become one yourself. With various insights and great use of stories and real-life examples, Ryan and Scott have crafted a great guide for every connector!
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