Friday, April 10, 2009

How to Increase Your Social Capital

In one of the courses at Rotman, we had a very interesting lecture - "How to increase your social capital". I thought of blogging it down today; the take aways still ring in my head and it will be worthwhile to look back and read the insights somewhere down the line in my career.

"What do you think of a person who dates Mick Jagger, Eric Clapton, Louis Bertignac and Leos Carax?"
I recall answering that this person is on either on drugs, or in the entertainment business.

"What do you think of a person who modeled for Guess, Christian Dior, Versace and Chanel"

Well, this person must work in the fashion industry!

"What do you think of a person who dines with George Bush, Laurent Fabius, and Queen Elizabeth"

This person must be in politics.

It turns out it the same person, who fits the description of everything I just described

Any guesses?

Carla Bruni-Sarkozy!

It turns out that the First lady of France has significantly climbed up the social ladder since the age of 19. Oddly enough, once she became the First Lady of France in 2008, her social capital in the eyes of people went up by 80% while her husband - French President Nicolas Sarkozy's social capital went down by 65%.

The key take-away from the session were:
  1. We are recognized by the kind of people we associate ourselves with. In another words, we climb up the social ladder/ corporate world ladder due of our influential associations and not necessarily due to our hard work. It does not mean that we should stop interacting with our "not-so-influential" friends, but it does mean we need to "network" and therefore increase our social capital.
  2. The professor also showed us that people who took 15 minutes out of their busy lives to email friends a detailed 2-3 paragraph email did much better in the long run than people, who simply wrote a 3-4 liner email. Essentially, if you "connect" with your friends & family, you will have them around for a much longer time.

Fascinating...ain't it? :)

1 comment:

Kiran Sawhney said...

Your last key words really made a lot of sense and I was nodding in consent throughout.