All of us get caught up in the swirl of activities around us. Business, friends, family, community—we struggle with balancing everything going on, we do the best we can.
Inevitably the we get swept up in something urgent often overlooking the important. Then something happens that causes us to stop, pause and reflect.
This week a reader — Mike (I won’t embarrass him by giving you his full name, he can claim it in the comments if he wants) did something unusual and very touching. Mike reached did something special as a means of thanking me for the blog and how he’s been able to leverage the content in his organization.
I’ve never met Mike, we’ve exchanged notes on LinkedIn, he’s commented on some of the posts, but by taking the time to do something a little different, it caused me to pause and reflect. I didn’t want to let the moment slip by.
As I write this, I’m in a United Club, about to jet off somewhere, putting my head back down, running 200 MPH (or for my metric brethren, 321.869 KPH). But I didn’t want to let the opportunity pass to thank the thousands of people reading the blog, commenting, engaging me and each other in various social sites, through emails or phone calls.
I want to thank each of you for what I’ve learned from and through you, how you’ve enriched me and made a difference in my life.
I’ve been very blessed with the people I’ve engaged in this blog, whether it’s at this site, people reading it through LinkedIn, or in various places where the articles have appeared. The blog has the tag line, “Making A Difference.” I started the blog and continue to write, hoping every once in a while what I have to say is helpful to someone–professionally or personally. I never realized in reality, the greatest value of the blog would be the huge difference this community has made in my life.
This community, collectively each of you, has had an impact on each other and people we have never or are unlikely to ever meet. Each December, I sponsor a charity, the last two years it’s been Charity:Water. The contributions from you have provided wells to villages in Eastern Africa, India, and Southeast Asia. We’ve raised over $20K and enabled 100’s of people to have access to clean water. In prior years, we’ve raised thousands of dollars for MS, through your sponsorship of my rides, and we’ve been able to contribute to other charities. Together, through your support, we’ve had an impact greater than what we could have achieved individually. We’ve made tremendous differences in the lives of thousands of people we are not likely to ever meet.
More close to home, I think we’ve changed a lot of the discussion about sales, selling, marketing, customer service, leadership, and business. Perhaps my posts spark an idea, but through the 10’s of thousands of comments and conversations on the blog, LinkedIn, and other places, we’ve learned from each other–maybe not agreeing, but listened and discussed differing views. We’ve had some heated, sometimes less than polite discussions. But in each of these, I think we have managed to raise the level or discussion and knowledge about our professions and business.
My goal in this blog has never been to provide “how to” advice, there are dozens of people far better than I who can do this. My goal has been to help each of us be a little more thoughtful and purposeful in what we are doing, how we engage our customers, our peers, and how we raise the level of performance across those communities. The discussions and conversations in this community have done more than I could have ever hoped for.
Through this blog, I’ve had the opportunity to meet with a huge variety of people around the world. I’ve had the opportunity for hundreds and thousands of conversations—learning in each, getting more ideas on things I should write about.
Every day, I get nice notes thanking me for something I’ve written. When I’m at conferences, people I don’t know come up and thank me.
To be honest, it’s often a little overwhelming, I’m not sure I understand why. To me, writing the blog is cathartic. It’s a way to express myself, maybe get a few things off my chest, or to sort through ideas I’m struggling with. Sometimes, I don’t think it means anything to anyone but me–but then get great comments, notes and calls.
So, first, thank you Mike! What you did surprised and touched me, it made me stop and think.
For everyone that reads, comments, or somehow engages in the community we’ve built, thank you! You’ve enriched my life–made a difference, and you are enriching the lives of others.
So, I needed to get that off my chest. It feels great to express that. It’s great to pause and reflect……
But they’re calling my plane……. Back to 200 MPH! 😉