What is the Difference Between Connecting ‘to’ and Connecting ‘with’ People?

We’ve all heard that connections can take us places. They can definitely be a significant factor in how much power and influence we gain, whether that is measured in terms of finances or by how many eyes and ears we command. Connectedness seems to be the determining factor, but some people have taken this to mean that they should keep connecting to as many people online as possible without considering the relationship dynamic, quality and strength of that connection. How much power or influence do  you gain by adding one more friend on Facebook or LinkedIn? Does it matter who that person is? Yes it very much matters who that person is, but that doesn’t mean you have the level of access to these influencers that you need in order to derive any benefit from your connections. Such connections are purely parasitic in their nature. Seeking to give nothing but take everything is connecting ‘to’ people much as the flea does to the dog. Connecting ‘with’ people implies transcending the parasite-host relationship to form a more symbiotic working relationship. Give value and you will get value. Start following people as a parasite but offer something in return for your free ride and outgrow the role of the parasite and become your very own host. Support your host in his endeavours, enrich his community and grow in the process. Make any strategy of networking, whether social media based or offline about forming fewer but stronger bonds. Don’t let value dilute down through thousands of connections. Offer your followers and those you follow value and your worth will increase in direct relation to what you deliver. This is what it means to become a Super-Node hyperconnected with a proper relationship dynamic of giving bonded by value delivered. This is what will make you an influencer and allow you to connect ‘with’ the giants.