The idea is simple: There are four hosts who meet every month for lunch. Each host invites a guest who is a leader in business, education, the non-profit world, and others. The eight of us go around the table and introduce ourselves. In the course of the introductions, typically a topic will arise that we revisit for discussion after the introductions.
The eight of us get together in the back room of an Italian restaurant and enjoy a conversation over a lovely lunch.
I have to be honest: I wasn’t that enthralled with the idea at first. But, the results of the very first lunch were shocking.
From the very first lunch, the intersecting lines of the people around the table were amazing.
There was the mayor of a town whom I had been trying to get a meeting with – and, suddenly, there he was. Later, it was easy to get a one-on-one meeting with him.
My guest was the city manager of a different town but she and the mayor knew each other. This helped break the ice.
One of the other guests happened to be from New York, like me. I soon learned that he had worked at the same company at the same time as one of my brothers back in the late 1980s. And, now, here he was, living in Texas, sitting across the table from me.
That guest’s host is involved in Catholic education in his town and came to realize that I’m the brother of the priest who wrote the national standards for Catholic education curriculum that the Catholic school in the host’s town is using. The host later texted me a picture of my brother’s publication.
Over the months, guests and hosts have found business opportunities with each other, even around such a small table. The CEO of a company was interested in HVAC and realized that the guest from the local community college had exactly what he needed.
Another CEO was captivated by the director of the non-profit organization that helps kids from low-income families improve their math and science knowledge through aviation. Her non-profit holds aviation summer camps complete with real flight simulators.
So, let’s cut to the chase. Here’s a question for you: Who’s around you? Who is it you could go to lunch with and share stories and experiences?
This blog is all about helping you get what you want. Did you see all those connections around such a small table? It works one-on-one as well. The secret is you have to do it.
Doors will open to you that would not have before. It might come simply in the form of an interesting story or enjoyable lunch. It might be a life lesson you learn from the person across the table. Or it might be discovering that the two of you have mutual interests and you agree to pursue a project together.
So here’s a challenge for you: This week—over the next seven days—find someone to go to lunch with that you don’t know very well (or perhaps don’t even know at all) and talk with him or her.
Share your stories.
Make room on your calendar, turn off your cell phones, and just talk.
Get the Nerve!