In college my peers were big advocates of the philosophy, “what you know is who you know.” I chose not to subscribe to that lifestyle and stayed committed to my “I AM AN ISLAND” philosophy. I believed that “what you know is who you know” thinking, was for leeches. It was nothing more than mere nonsense extroverts used to prey upon my introverted energy and steal my amassed greatness. Then I started working in corporate America and thought “ *ooop… those folks in college may have been right”.
I was recently working on a project that I desperately needed help to finish. It was after meeting a co-worker twice removed, that I finally saw the light. I have always been on the other side of this equation, supplying information and connections. It soon came to me that I was misjudging this philosophy. Those past experiences led me to believe it was about shallow questionable connections and always being ON. I can’t always be on, nor can I be around ON people for extended periods of time. In completing my project I was able to make genuine small connections. The sincerity put into these connections was the key. No one wants to feel like they are being used. People may not remember the details of your exchanges, but they remember how you made them feel.
Since then my philosophy has changed a bit… I am not AN island, I am ON an island. I frequent other islands for parties and on occasion invite people to my island to sip tasty rum’d up beverages.
*ooop= sound one should make aloud when shocking revelations are reached.