Have you ever seen someone who has achieved a certain success in their job and thought “how did they do it?”
If you hear that they did it alone, then you obviously don’t know all of the story.
Twenty years ago a very amusing movie released called Dave (1993) starring Kevin Kline and Sigourney Weaver. In the story, Kevin Kline plays Dave Kovic who runs a temp agency. What is amusing is that he looks very similar to the current President of the United States, President Mitchell. On the side, Dave Kovic is hired to impersonate the President and in a bizarre turn of events is called into help in more ways than just impersonating the President. I won’t ruin the movie because it is a joy to watch.
Despite this being a movie with politics as a backdrop, it is really a movie about people helping people. In the movie once Dave Kovic eventually is acting as the President, shares with the American people,
“If you’ve ever seen the look on somebody’s face the day they finally get a job, I’ve had some experience with this, they look like they could fly. And its not about the paycheck, it’s about respect, it’s about looking in the mirror and knowing that you’ve done something valuable with your day. And if one person could start to feel this way, and then another person, and then another person, soon all these other problems may not seem so impossible. You don’t really know how much you can do until you, stand up and decide to try.”
Dave was trying to help others find jobs so they could live passionate and fruitful lives. A job doesn’t solve every problem and it doesn’t guarantee you will find your full purpose. A job can help give someone the opportunity to have passion, purpose and the ability to better themselves to make a difference.
Dave wasn’t just a job-placement owner.
What matters is that Dave Kovic was a connector.
I am only where I am because of the help of other people. Period. Did I work hard and was persistent to meet with people? Of course but doors would not have opened to me if I had not been helped by courageous people who took a chance on me. Here are a few of the many examples from my own personal journey:
- My high school friend Kara recommended me for a position that ended up being my first job in marketing and sales in the film industry. I wouldn’t even have gotten the chance to interview if it weren’t for her. This also helped fuel my love for movies and great storytelling.
- When I moved to Nashville, my sister’s childhood friend’s brother, whom I hadn’t seen in twenty years, introduced me to a publisher and led me in the door to my first job in publishing.
- I am at my current position because of working hard but if I weren’t recommended by mutual friends, it would have been difficult to get to the next stage.
None of the people who helped me got anything in return except being able to see me thrive in those positions. They simply enjoyed seeing me be in a place to thrive.
I have learned from many others along the way.
One of my friends who inspires me greatly is John Bergquist. You need to know John because he lives for helping others do amazing things.
What I have realized is that as a connector, my success will be measured by the successes of others.
Marketing thought leader Seth Godin wrote in his book Linchpin,
“Not only must you be an artist, must you be generous, and must you be able to see where you can help but you must also be aware. Aware of where your skills are welcomed.”
The Bible also has a lot to say about helping others. In Philippians 2:4, Paul encourages the early Christ-followers;
“Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.”
To summarize, here are three ways to be an effective connector:
- Be aware of those around you who may need help and make yourself available to them. You may be igniting a fire in a true change-maker.
- Invest time each week meeting with and helping people.
- Don’t expect anything in return except the joy of seeing someone else thrive in their sweet spot making a difference.
Let’s be like Dave Kovic. The world will be better because of it.