"In 1968, when William Jefferson Clinton was a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University, he met a graduate student named Jeffrey Stamps at a party. Clinton promptly pulled out a black address book. “What are you doing here at Oxford, Jeff?” he asked. “I’m at Pembroke on a Fulbright,” Jeff replied. Clinton penned “Pembroke” into his book, then asked about Stamps’s undergraduate school and his major. “Bill, why are you writing this down?” asked Stamps. “I’m going into politics and plan to run for governor of Arkansas, and I’m keeping track of everyone I meet,” said Clinton. That story, recounted by Stamps, epitomizes Bill Clinton’s forthright approach to reaching out and including others in his mission. He knew, even then, that he wanted to run for office, and his sense of purpose emboldened his efforts with both passion and sincerity. In fact, as an undergraduate at Georgetown, the forty-second president made it a nightly habit to record, on index cards, the names and vital information of every person whom he’d met that day. (Bold Mine. D)
From Clinton, two lessons are clear: First, the more specific you are about where you want to go in life, the easier it becomes to develop a networking strategy to get there. Second, be sensitive to making a real connection in your interactions with others. There is almost an expectation among us that whoever becomes rich or powerful can be forgiven for high-handed behavior. Clinton illustrates how charming and popular you can become, and remain, when you treat everyone you meet with sincerity.
Until you become as willing to ask for help as you are to give it, however, you are only working half the equation.
My point is this: Relationships are solidified by trust. Institutions are built on it. You gain trust by asking not what people can do for you, to paraphrase an earlier Kennedy, but what you can do for others. In other words, the currency of real networking is not greed but generosity.
From my earliest days growing up in Latrobe, I found myself absorbing wisdom and advice from every source imaginable—friends, books, neighbors, teachers, family. My thirst to reach out was almost unquenchable. But in business, I found nothing came close to the impact of mentors. At every stage in my career, I sought out the most successful people around me and asked for their help and guidance.
I would argue that your relationships with others are your finest, most credible expression of who you are and what you have to offer. Nothing else compares."
Never Eat Alone: And Other Secrets to Success, One Relationship at a Time by Keith Ferrazzi, Tahl Raz
“We all are learning, modifying, or destroying ideas all the time. Rapid destruction of your ideas when the time is right is one of the most valuable qualities you can acquire. You must force yourself to consider arguments on the other side.
— Charles T. Munger”
Click to set custom HTML
Disclosure of Material Connection:
Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”