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Friday, July 04, 2008

A lesson from Joe

This posting from Ford Harding: A Lesson from Joe: It’s Not about Us is a humbling reminder about our place in the world; and our self-absorbed anxieties (or visions). Although Ford took the experience as a reminder that he shouldn't think too much about pursuing opportunities and calling, I take it in a slightly wider perspective -- that we should absolutely respect the person who we are calling and the value of his/her time and priorities.

This doesn't mean be 'sucky' but it suggests that we connect where appropriate with the person's 'gatekeeper' (administrative assistant), or use alternatives to the phone and in-person visit where we really don't need to be in the busy person's face.

For example, in at least a few instances where I had a proposal/request for an extremely busy CEO talked with the AA and then put the thoughts down in paper on a fax and sent it to her. The document then lands on the decision-maker's desk, and I received the response/answer I needed. (I realize this only works if I have a prior, real, relationship with the decision-maker, or I am ready to accept a referral to someone else in the organization; I'll still be communicating with the power of the boss's office, in that case, however.)

And it reminds me of the absolute power you obtain by promptly and honorably returning calls, even when you don't see much business opportunity or value in the process. It takes just a few minutes but leaves a powerful impression on the perhaps overly self-absorbed caller!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...


I took several lessons away from this one. Among them was to think more kindly of other people when they are unresponsive or grummpy. You never know what else is going on elsewhere in their live.