Sunday, May 3, 2009

Are You Ready For The Age of The Connoisseur?

While my clothes are in the dryer and Furry Friend is sitting still and contented, I think I should leap at this opportunity for today’s brief chat.

I was reading Forbes Life Magazine recently. The editor-in-chief proclaimed that we have entered the “Age of The Connoisseur.” It makes perfectly good sense to me.

After all, when you and your social circle are on the same “level,” what differentiates you from the rest of the tribe?

It’s your distinct ability to leverage your strengths and cultivate a unique set of skills that you make you – at a minimum – interesting and; at the highest level, an expert in your particular interest.

How does one begin this cultivation of connoisseur skills? Well, good people reading and practice is a great start. Author Malcolm Gladwell last week on CNN said that he firmly believes that talent is nothing more that the desire to continuously practice. Now, we can spend eons debating the merit of this statement but I believe there is a great deal of truth within its simple premise.

Our Super Socialites did not pop out of the womb as the fabulous people we see today. They had scores of people contribute to their success including family members, mentors, spouses, significant others…well you get my point. They were able to conduct long term (and often painful) self assessments to determine their personal gaps and then took steps to rectify those gaps. They made missteps along the way but quickly recovered and kept looking forward. Now, we get to experience them in all of their fabulousness.

The global paradigm has shifted away from massive wealth acquisition as a measure of success. If you believe that we have entered the “Age of The Connoisseur,” are you positioning yourself to be prepared?