From unknown author to overnight bestseller — all due to the power of networks. How else to explain why certain ideas, messages and products spread?
Social networks are a source of power in business. Author Malcolm Gladwell, in his book The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference, says that networking is often how things really get done in business.
“People who want to be effective leaders need to take this dimension of social power seriously,” Gladwell says. “As the complexity of the tasks confronting an organization grows … the importance of these sorts of informal social networks also grows.”
He points to two types of people who often wield great influence as a result of their social “network” power: connectors and mavens.
Connectors are individuals who know a lot of people and draw on those connections to get things done. They’re people who know how to work their personal networks of friends and contacts to accomplish significant feats, even though they do not hold high-level positions themselves.
Mavens are individuals who gather large amounts of useful information on certain topics and enjoy sharing it with others. Their willingness to share their expertise without necessarily trying to profit from it gives mavens great credibility among listeners, who are often inclined to act on their advice.