Monday, August 08, 2005

Career Power

In his book PowerShift, Alvin Toffler talks about three sources of power:
  • force (military, guns, etc.)
  • money (GDP, cash, etc.)
  • knowledge
He then repeatedly writes that knowledge is the most versatile form of power, since it can often replace the other two. Think of how the CIA, for example, uses information and intelligence to preempt a competitor in political or economic competitions between the U.S. and other nations.

Through LinkedIn and other such software, ordinary people like you and me are about to taste the real power of knowledge.

Indeed, as citizens, we were fairly uninformed and, therefore, did not have power before the arrival of LinkedIn. (Some people may say that they keep informed through TV news or CNN. Oh, please.)

Now, especially for those who use LinkedIn in a premeditated manner and with strategic goals in mind, we can gain power by organizing our network of contacts so that they brief us on matters that matter to us. (Of course, we have to first inform them about what really matters to us and our career/business).

In many ways, this is not different from the news clipping service that most executives subscribe to, at a cost of $10,000 per year. They tell the clipping agency what they want to track, and the agency sends them relevant news articles culled from hundreds of publications.