Bill Murray said, “I went to Second City, where you learned to make the other actor look good so you looked good and National Lampoon, where you had to create everything out of nothing, and SNL, where you couldn’t make any mistakes, and you learned what collaboration was.” Savor your life by spurring more fruitful collaborations.
One of the most priceless and practical gifts you can give two people you respect is to introduce them to each other. Their very differences could enable them to co-create something greater together than they could do alone. That’s what my friend Bill Sherman intuited when he introduced two of his “lifetime” friends, to each other, Peter Winic and Rajesh Setty.
In so doing Bill became a double opportunity-maker:
1. Making the introduction.
2. Shining a light on the first result of that introduction. (As Edith Wharton wrote, “There are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it.”)
Here’s what happened.
As Sherman wrote, “In social capital theory, you can be a broker (someone who can create a bridge across a social network). Traditional brokers stand with their hand-out and ask for a referral/introduction fee. Yet, you can also connect people because you know both of them will benefit from the connection. Once you make the connection, you step away and let the relationship grow.
It’s the difference between a transactional (give-ask) introduction and a relational (give-and-ask-nothing) introduction. When I make an introduction, I don’t stand with my hand out. I connect people because I love to watch these connections develop.”
One leg of the Me2We philosophy is this belief:
If you provide enough other people what they need in life you often get what you need, often before you know you need it and sometimes from people you did not know could provide it.