KSL Interview About Six Degrees From Kevin Bacon – It Worked!

I just had a very entertaining interview with a reporter from KSL, a local radio station, which will be aired Friday morning at 5:20am and 7:20 am (for the commuters).

He asked about the Six Degrees from Kevin Bacon thing… we’ve all heard of that.  During the interview he asked if, besides him, I knew anyone famous.  Here’s kind of how it went:

Me: I am two degrees away from George Foreman.  I think I’m three degrees from George W.  I am three degrees from Mr. T.

Paul: You are three degrees from Mr. T?  No kidding.  Then you are four degrees from Conan O’Brien, since Mr. T has been on Conan’s show.

Me: Oh, cool!

Paul: And that means you are five degrees from Kevin Bacon.

Me: (thinking: cool… I’ve beat it by one degree)

Paul: … and I’m six degrees from Kevin Bacon!

It was a cool moment to see Paul realize he really was six degrees from Kevin Bacon.

One quick note… he asked how I knew I was three degrees from Mr. T.  I only know because I was communicating some wishes to my first degree contacts.  I had one come back and said Mr. T was a second degree contact, and he’d be happy to do an introduction.

Sometimes we are a lot closer to our target contacts than we know, we just have to start asking “who do you know who might know … ” GO FORTH AND ASK!

12 thoughts on “KSL Interview About Six Degrees From Kevin Bacon – It Worked!”

  1. Jason, congrats on the interview and from being 5 degrees from Kevin Bacon! Your final line is so right on! We never know how close we are to who we want to know until we ask. Asking is the tricky part. So many of us (self included) do not ask for what we need or state our desires. Big mistake! I am thankful today for the encouragement and reminder to speak up. Who knows, I may be closer to Warren Buffet than I know!

  2. Many years ago… and several careers ago… I had a chance to deal poker to Kevin Bacon… so you were already 2 degrees away and didn’t know it :-)!

  3. Fun post, Jason!

    When I talk to groups about linkedin, I always mention that I am a 2nd degree connection to both candidates for President of the United States! While it doesn’t mean that either will be stopping by for dinner, I think it is a fun fact to share!

    I think one of the best things about linkedin (and other social networking sites) is the opportunity to see who people know without having to ask. It’s often surprising and exciting to find out how small the world really is.

  4. Jason – I love how you can take any fact and keep it on track to what is important to Career Management. It’s kind of a “All Roads Lead to Rome” thing. We can be focused (on topic) in our Career Management/Job Search and find inspiration in everyday life to help us move forward. Great recognition in regards to the interview with KSL!

  5. EXCELLENT! You are spot on Jason… I think that many of us don’t realize how “close” we really are to our “target” contacts – all you really have to do is “ask”.

    Yes, my favorite business question has always been “who do you know?”

    You ROCK yet again and thanks for letting “me” know that “I” am also six degrees from Kevin Bacon 🙂

  6. Since the whole world seems to be within 6 degrees …. I suspect 3 degrees is a tad bit too far in some ways. The most useful (beyond the obvious first ring of acquaintances/friends) are the 2nd degree contacts and after that the utility of the contacts fades away slowly….for the most part. No?

  7. @sanjeev – I saw a study a year ago that says we’re all really 4.3 degrees away from someone, or something like that. This is made possible with the technology available to us. Don’t remembe where the study is.

    Regarding your question, do contacts fade as we get further away… let throw out an idea. I think we typically measure the strength of our network by the size … using a breadth and depth as two measurements. But what about strength of each relationship?

    What if I meet someone, who introduces me to someone, who introduces me to someone, who introduces me to someone else. I now have new first degree, second degree, third degree and fourth degree contacts. Let’s assume my relationship with each of them is weak.

    Then, that fourth degree contact introduces me to John, who I develop a really rich relationship with… I can have that type of relationship with John even though I have no real relationship with the other four people.

    I think the strength of a relationship is a third measurement to help you know the strength of your network (the other two would be breadth and depth)… and lots of people who brag about their numbers on sites like LinkedIn miss this third dimension, which may be more impt than the other two … ?

    Another quick thought… I hear that you get your job leads from your third and fourth degree contacts, not your first and second degree contacts… so it’s important to keep drilling down, and, as Heather asks, “WHO DO YOU KNOW…”

  8. Thanks for the reply, Jason. I am not a natural networker and so it is good for me to hear from all kinds of experiences. Your blog provides exactly such a personal touch.

    Linkedin has seen a surge of interest in the last year or so — its been around longer but for some reason (just word of mouth?) it seems to be really popular recently. People have now started randomly expanding their connections by finding some vague connection (or sometimes even when there is no real connection) in an effort to expand their network. It is a good way to increase the circle of “connected” people but I sometimes wonder about the utility. I have received invites from people I have no idea who they are sometimes. So, I think I know what you mean by strength of the network. I have debated rejecting invites although by having them in my 1st circle, I probably get more people into my 2nd and 3rd and … networks. The toughest ones I debate are recruiters — they have 500+ connections typically — though most of them are probably like me; i.e. landed up in the recruiters profile as a contact though by the very nature of the recruiter’s job, he/she probably does not know a large majority of them.

    On a different variation on the theme …
    I remember reading something recently (do not remember where) about the “Connectors”. Having a real “connector” in your network is more important than having 100s of connections.

  9. grr… words do not flow this afternoon. Re-reading the above post, I am ashamed of my stilted sentence structuring!

  10. @Sanjeev, thanks for the kind words. I’m not a natural networker either… I need to blog about my last networking event (where I chickened out)…

    Anyway, regarding your points, that will make an excellent blog post on my LinkedIn blog. I’ll work on that this week (I have been meaning to write about that for a while).

    Specifically regarding connectors, I think it’s valuable to be conneced to a mega-connector, but I wouldn’t say it’s more valuable than having 100s of connections… UNLESS you use LI as a search database ONLY. More on that later.

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