Remember the proverb about the butterfly that flapped its wings and caused a hurricane halfway around the world?
It's been attributed to many sources (An old Chinese proverb, maybe?), but this story often gets quoted as a simple way to explain Systems Theory.
In short, systems theory tells us that large systems (like planet Earth) appear chaotic to the human eye, but actually are mathematically perfect. They are just so complex, that we can't always see the patterns that are at play within them. Everything works together and because it all works together, sometimes tiny actions can catalyze exponential outcomes, like a butterfly's wings causing a hurricane thousands of miles a way.
Of course, a butterly can't actually cause a hurricane, all by itself. There's a huge differential in the amount of energy required, but tiny actions at the right time and place can be leveraged to create incredible outcomes. That's one of the great lessons of systems theory and every great coach has seen it happen again and again.
Computers have made it possible for humans to comprehend complex systems and how mysterious events actually occur. Before computers, systems theory was pretty much just a theory. It was difficult to measure the evidence.
So it is, that especially online, where a seemingly infinite amount of data can be tracked and measured, tiny actions can have been shown to create incredible outcomes, and things as silly as a social networks, like Twitter or Facebook, can be used to fight runaway forest fires or influence the outcome of a Presidential election.
The Online Social Butterfly has been born and she is powerful, exponentially powerful.
Remember Susan Boyle, of Britain's Got Talent fame, and how she rocketed to stardom for hundreds of millions of YouTube visitors? Even compared to television, the internet is extraordinarily influential. Tiny events can be leveraged to incredible outcomes.
Coaches are in the business of leveraging 'flutterby' activities (a.k.a. baby steps) toward great successes, beautiful lives and even huge fortunes for our clients. And the business of coaching often turns on the tiniest of butterfly activities, like posting a comment on a blog, or tweeting about an event.
Add to that the permanent quality of the internet, which creates a public record of you and your activities for a lifetime and you can see how those activities create your identity, brand and reputation in ways that nothing else can. And it just keeps creating more and more momentum for you.
Your online 'reach' or following makes a difference, of course. But knowing what, where and when to leverage is even more influential. That's what distinguishes true Online Social Butterflies from everyone else.
Are you a true Online Social Butterfly? Or would you like to become one? At School of Coaching Mastery, we have an actual job description for Online Social Butterflies. Currently, it is a volunteer position for coaches who want to learn how to leverage their actions and monitor their effects, so that they create an impact of tsunami proportions.