Beyond Career and Business Connections-by Stephen G. Harding

Yesterday my Linkedin “Followers” hit 5,000. This is the second time I’ve broached that number. About a year ago I culled my connections down to 600. At this point in time it is neither relevant nor all that interesting as to why.
With just a little over 1.5 posts per week, my current per post views hover somewhere between 350 and 1,250.  These stats are a whole lot better from where I started but they hardly compare with the figures generated by many of you out there in Linkedin land. There are a lot of reasons for this including my own narrowness of thought and the theoretical purpose of the venue itself.
Given that Linkedin is primarily about career and business connectivity it provides a strong conduit that promotes success in one’s chosen field of endeavor. Yet should it also provide a forum for something more? At times, there are posts that are reflective of the broader notion of human enterprise; that our approach to life and work may come from different foundational understandings.  On occasion, I would suspect that each one of us needs to be reminded that our own core values and belief systems may not be shared with those right next to us, those that occupy the cubicles and assembly lines at our own places of work.  For the most part, that is NOT a bad thing. It is a reflection of who we are as a people, as a nation. One would think that knowing each other on a more personal level would make us better at whatever we do as professionals, as entrepreneurs, as public servants. If nothing else, it would provide a ladder leaning against the walls of single minded polarization.  From a business perspective, think of it as widening one’s target market.
Knowingly or not, we’ve erected our own individual fortresses not to be breached by those who hold different views.  Since we spend roughly forty years of our lives in the work environment, it would just seem that conversations with someone at work, someone not normally included in our own inner circles, may just help to breakdown some of the ego driven invisible barriers that we ourselves erect.  I’m just guessing, but I would think that such a discourse would not only improve our working relationships but our ability to listen, to communicate, to manage, to facilitate new ideas and new solutions. In essence such an effort may effectuate a greater understanding of ourselves and the motives of others.
In my own way, I’m trying to do just this.  It isn’t easy. So I’m trying to tune out the self-serving talking heads, the naysayers and the rock throwers.  This even goes for people where I share similar perspectives.   I have to look beyond what’s in my best interest to thoughts of, what is in OUR best interest.  I don’t know whether this is the platform for this conversation or not.  I’m still trying to figure that out. But in the meantime, I’ll just keep plugging along with my 5,000 followers.  Apparently somebody is interested.

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