Have you ever played the six degrees of separation from Kevin Bacon? In a book called "The Tipping Point" the importance of connectors was discussed. Apparently a researcher gave forty people in a small town in the western US the name of a stock broker in a small town in Massachusetts. There assignment was to try to find someone who was connected to this person. They would send the name to someone who might be closer, who would then send it to someone who was closer. They found that it reached the broker in five steps. Amazing considering the distance the population of the US. However the more amazing thing was that most of the people connected to the fellow in Massachusetts through one person. They called this fellow a connector. They are the kind of people who know and keep in touch with lots of people.
The book talks about the characteristics of these people and how they can be a tipping point on many things. They can find a good restaurant and make that restaurant an overnight success.
In the book they gave a list of names selected randomly from the New York phone book. You are to count the names of people you know with those surnames. Many people will get between 30 and 40. Stephen, who is a connector, scored 98, we all knew he was a connector. I got 43. Interesting.
Te best connectors are people who have connections in many different activities. In the movie business, being in different types of movies is best. John Wayne is a bad connector cause he really was mostly in westerns. Apparently Rod Steiger is the best connector because he was in every type of movie, some good. some bad. Thus a renaissance man is a good connector. Another point they made was that connectors do it as part of their nature, not as a conscious act. Interesting! Check out the book, it is a fun read.