Be Brave Enough to Connect

Do you have the bravery to connect with others?


What does it take to connect with others?

Marketing guru Seth Godin tells it like it is in this video from Leadercast Live. In today’s global marketplace, competition looks very different than it did even a decade ago. It’s no longer good enough to build something better or faster or less expensive than your competition in order to gain a loyal customer following.

“The alternative is the connection economy,” says Seth, “an economy where we choose to be the one who is trusted, where we choose to be the one people can't live without, where we choose to be the linchpin without hiding. And yet, we hide all the time.”

Seth shares the journey of Scott Harrison, who founded Charity Water. (You can also hear Scott speak on Leadercast Now at In the telling, Seth challenges each of us to be brave enough to be fully transparent with those we work with and those we serve; to connect based on trust, and to be fully present and engaged.

To date, Scott Harrison, at Charity Water, has raised more than a quarter of a billion dollars to get water to people who don't have it. And as a result, he has changed the lives of millions of people. How did it happen? Scott Harrison was a party promoter in New York City. He was busy selling bottles of vodka for 250 bucks.

Scott Harrison was living a party, and one day, he woke up and he said, "I am no longer connected, no longer connected to the way I was raised. No longer connected to the world." So he shut down his business.

He got on a boat, and he was a volunteer photo journalist for a charity that goes to places like Liberia, and performs surgery on people who have never seen a doctor. And during that time, he saw things that most of us can't even imagine, and he looked it right in the eye, and he connected with those people. He didn't say, "I feel sorry for you." He said, "I see you."

He had the bravery to connect to the people around him. And then he took that connection back to New York, and found the people he used to spend time with. And he said to those people, "Look at these people, look them in the eye." Scott Harrison is a bridge.

Each of us has the ability to be a bridge because we don't live in an industrial economy anymore. We don't live in an economy that's based on the idea that we could make what someone else makes a little faster and a little cheaper. You cannot manage your way out of this situation.

There are other people who will race to the bottom faster than you. And the problem with racing to the bottom is simple, you might win, or worse, you might come in second. The alternative is the connection economy, an economy where we choose to be the one who is trusted, where we choose to be the one people can't live without, where we choose to be the linchpin without hiding. And yet, we hide all the time.

I was in one of Atlanta's many beautiful malls this morning, and I passed a woman who was doing a really good job at one of those kiosks where they sell hats and cookies or whatever it is, and she was busy selling hats. And I said to her, "So is this your stand?" She said, "Oh no, no, no, no." I said, "Well are you going to open one?" She says, "Oh, I have much bigger dreams than this." And I felt very sorry for her in that moment because dreams don't take bravery, dreams don't take guts.

What would take guts and bravery is doing something very good, doing something better than she is doing now, putting herself a little bit outside of her comfort zone. And then doing it again, and then doing it again, and then doing it again.

Seth Godin

Seth Godin is the author of 17 books that have been best-sellers around the world and have been translated into more than 35 languages. You might be familiar with his books Linchpin, Tribes, The Dipand Purple Cow.

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