Gladwell describes how all people were not created equal when it comes to their influence on others. There are a “few” people with a “particular and rare set of social gifts” who are either Connectors, Mavens, or Salesmen.
Connectors know lots of people and create those small degrees of separation away from everyone (including Kevin Bacon). On page 39, he provides a list of names to help gauge your own level of Connector status. I was amazed at how much variation existed within the various groups where he gave this assessment. I am curious, what was your number? My number was 45. It did help that one of the names on the list was Weber.
I particularly liked how Connectors are described on page 51: “The point about Connectors is that by having a foot in so many different worlds, they have the effect of bringing them all together.” Poor William Dawes, it appears he was out ridden by a Connector.
Mavens are those that accumulate knowledge on things and readily share it with the rest of us. We trust their views on cars, appliances, schools, books, or even ice cream. “They aren’t passive collectors of information…once they figure out how to get that deal, they want to tell you about it too.” Page 62.
Salesmen, or those people who can persuade us and convince us are the last group. These are individuals that can change our minds, and sometimes even get us to buy things (even if it is just an idea). Gladwell describes communication with this groups as more of a dance. Think about your last interaction with an actual salesperson, what did you like or not like about that interaction?
Which are you? Connector? Maven? Salesmen? Who are the Connectors, Mavens, or Salesmen around you? Do these few influence you? If so, how? Let us know, and what you thought of this chapter, and remember to post on at least one other person’s post.