Good Afternoon, Friends!
I have been thinking about connections and the powerful impact of those bonds. What are the most critical connections in your life? And how are you engaging with them?
We are managing connections all the time, and we are constantly searching to create new ones. We seek to build new relationships with others. We reacquaint ourselves with nature and its glorious wonders. We might reestablish a more authentic link to our faith. We spend a lifetime searching for ways to connect to something or someone greater than ourselves.
By intentionally improving ourselves, loving those closest to us, nurturing our communities, and reaching out to the world, we can create small, simple changes. These minor adjustments catalyze significant change and improve our lives. It is funny how the smallest action that makes the biggest difference.
Check out the impact of the small actions in the following story.
My wife, Kim, sat at her favorite booth with her best friend. They picked up where they had left off a few months early. It was as if no time had passed. But this time, it was a little different. Her best friend was introducing her new girlfriend. As everyone ate, laughed, and cried, they were building connections and growing their relationships.
Near the end of their lunch, a small group of active-duty military personnel came in were seated at the table next to them. Kim and her friends continued their light-hearted conversation, barely noticing the new table of the guest. Soon the waitress came by with the check, and Kim quietly handed her a credit card and told her to add the table of military personnel to her bill.
She quickly signed the check paying for the other table. Kim and her friends left Red Robin not saying a word to each other, no less anyone else. A little more than three years later the “new girlfriend” shared this story with me and how Kim’s generosity changed her perspective on life. I could tell the connection between Kim and this woman was strong even though they never met again.
All connections and relationships need something significant to grow and expand. At the heart of it, they require generosity. When you act with kindness, benevolence, and abundance, the world opens before you. When we withhold generosity, connections rupture, break and dissolve before our very eyes. Being generous is the first and most important rule in creating connection – you have to give to get!
Consider the last twenty-four hours; what is the most significant act of generosity you performed? What have you put out into the world to make a difference?
[VIDEO] Change and the Scar Tissue to Prove It
Change is never easy! There is the inertia of the way it has always been done. Or the classic “if it ain’t broken, don’t fix it” mentality. There will always be doubters, and cynics, and outright resisters. But change is inevitable; we either create change or react to it. Intentional Leaders always choose change.
In this video clip, Steve Jobs is handling a challenging question at the 1997 Worldwide Developer Conference. He had just returned to Apple as an advisor and was guiding wide-range change at the company. With the hindsight of 24 years, was Jobs correct with his sweeping change initiative?
[TED] Curiosity Over Clash
Intentional leaders seek competing ideas, challenges to our worldview, and dynamic discourse. Exemplary Leaders love to be curious and learn more from these interactions. But in a highly connected world, we are finding the exact opposite – we discovering more disconnection, narrowing of our worldview, and lack of understanding.
Please check out Julia Dhar’s TED Talk “How to Have Constructive Conversations.” In this practical talk, she shares three essential features of productive disagreements grounded in curiosity and purpose. What is the ultimate conclusion? Constructive conversations that sharpen your argument and strengthen your relationships.
To Network or Not to Network That’s the Question
I remember the first time that I had to go to a networking event. I dreaded it and hated it! As a natural introvert, it was the worst possible thing I could be doing. Logically, I knew that networking would advance my career and business. However, I completely missed the purpose of networking. I thought networking was about going to an event, meeting many people, promoting yourself, and selling your company.
That could not be further from the truth! Networking is about establishing and nurturing long-term, mutually beneficial relationships with the people you meet. And the secret is not about meeting hundreds of people; it’s about meeting the right ones and building a relationship with them. It’s about bringing value and being willing to give something while expecting nothing in return.
This Harvard Business Review article, “Learn to Love Networking,” might help if you are like me.
Have we met before?
Have you ever met someone and felt like you have known each other forever? It seems to happen to me all the time. I love that we can connect so quickly and deeply. I came across this poem by Jonathan Muncy Storm the other day, and it hit home.
Jonathan Muncy Storm is an American writer and poet. He was a mechanic by trade who started writing in his spare time. Storm began sharing his poetry on social media, and his work quickly gained momentum. I hope this one resonates with you.
“I think some souls have a way of connecting without our knowledge. That’s why you can meet someone for the first time, but inside you just know. You know it is not the first time you’ve felt them.” – JM Storm