unintended consequences

Seems like most of my posts lately deal with social media but I think that is because there are so many pieces of our lives that it is now touching.  I picked up the WSJ journal this morning and found an article on a twitter group called “JobAngels” (http://twitter.com/search/users?q=jobangels&category=people&source=users) where total strangers help others find jobs.  While I would not desire to experience this economic downturn again (or for much longer), I do think there are good things happening as a result.

I think that people are becoming more and more aware of the opportunities to assist one another and gaining a clearer understanding that we need to.  I think the “lone ranger” mentality is fading away and we are more likely to lend a hand because we can clearly see that it could be (or has been us) in that same situation.  The tools like twitter, facebook, and linkedin enable us to stay abreast of the small things going on in our lives and actually facilitate relationship building that would be otherwise impossible.  The important thing here is that people tend to help those they care about and we are caring about more people as we meet them through different modalities.  I “linked” with someone on linkedin and now follow them on twitter and have learned a great deal about them through their posts.  If this person were to post they needed help with something, I would certainly try to assist.  Think about how many people each of us have been able to “connect” with through these avenues and how it has or can strengthen our networks.  It really is amazing when you think about it.

The key is that it is now more about people than business.  Business is important but we seem to have figured out that the business piece is the result of building strong relationships and not vice versa.  With this new approach the relation ships are the end in themselves and not just being built to gain some advantage in business.  

As Einstein said, “The value of a man should be seen in what he gives and not in what he is able to receive.”

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