The last Benari missive, Global Vision, was just what it sounds like, some thoughts on focusing globally and on Yohei Sasakawa who has done so and thus improved the world. Today I find myself thinking about the impact of focusing locally and how important it is to not forget that improving the world needs to include helping each person as an individual.
This morning I was part of a two person panel with Bob Madonna at a meeting of The MidAtlantic Consultants Network. The title of the event was Are You Comfortable Referring Others and Why? Bob and I wound up trading stories and ideas about meeting people, developing relationships, referrals, breakfast, and airports. We threw in some networking horrors and bad experiences as a counterpoint to the success stories. It has become a podcast so listen here and enjoy our stories.
I spent some time discussing my random nature, rapid movement, and how this impacts the way I connect with people and the records I keep. Bob chimed in with a few stories of his own of a similar way of acting. We disabused the audience of the need to be structured and rigid and assume you needed to follow a strict process to be successful at developing and maintaining great business relationships.
At the end someone came up to me and shared how happy he was that he had decided to come to hear the program. He then proceeded to tell me how I had changed his life.
It seems he is like me in many ways and has been making himself uncomfortable by forcing himself to abide by some rigid networking methodologies he heard were what you had to do to be successful. Since being uncomfortable isn’t the best way to make others feel comfortable and interested in connecting with you, he was having limited success.
During the program he hadn’t heard a word from either of us about structure other than a few thoughts about writing some things down so you remember them. Instead he heard about how to act like a normal person interested in whoever you meet and be comfortable and natural in your interactions with others. No special sauce, just an honest interest in learning about whoever you’re talking to while not pushing yourself and your needs into their face.
He was excited that he could be himself and be successful, probably more successful at establishing relationships good for business purposes. I was so pleased that I had agreed to speak to this small, local organization where I could have such an impact on someone in such a short time.
Local focus where you can help people one at time. Local focus where you can interact in personal ways that reach people deeply and leave them better off than they were before you met. Local focus as a counterpoint to global vision. Helping the world improve one by one on your way to having a large effect as each person you touch goes off to touch others in a better way leaving those they touch better off than they were before.
Whatever your resources you have the ability to make a difference. Sometimes I notice those in positions of power and authority get so focused on the global that they forget the individual. It takes thinking about both to have the biggest impact. One without the other is weaker than both together. The best leaders know how to share and implement the global vision in a way that touches each person individually. Just like successful networking it all starts by thinking first of them and allowing their success to drive you forward. When all are driving forward together…think what that will do for your organization.