Get The Story!
Everybody has a story! It's your job-opportunity ... consultant, boss, project-peer ... to get it!
In her remarkable book Respect, Sara Lawrence-Lightfoot wrote: "It was much later that I realized Dad's secret. He gained respect by giving it. He talked and listened to a fourth-grade kid in Spring Valley who shined shoes the same way he talked and listened to a bishop or a college president. He was seriously interested in who you were and what you had to say."
Likewise, in London I was driven around by a fellow who sometimes drives Richard Branson. Branson is famous, among other things, for his hundreds (literally) of notebooks in which he meticulously records what he hears from Virgin clients, and damn near anyone else he buttonholes. This driver confirmed Sir R's habit, and said a trip with RB is non-stop conversation about the world as seen through the driver's eyes. "He bloody well interviewed me, for 90 minutes, non-stop," this chap said with clear admiration, "as we crawled to town from Gatwick." There was nothing or no one beneath RB's abiding, compulsive interest. As we chatted, the driver (himself a Richard) allowed as how "the whole bit made me feel as though I had something important to say."
The Driver/Richard II did have something to say!
(Axiom: EVERYBODY HAS A STORY, DESPERATE TO ESCAPE!)
The Driver/Richard II is important!
Richard I /Branson doubtless learned a thing or seven, duly recorded.
(Axiom: JUST ASK!)
Richard I/Branson made a friend-informant-confidant for life!
(Axiom: GET A STORY, MAKE A FRIEND.)
Richard II/driver will pass on the story of Richard I/Branson to 100, if not 1,000 people ... and thus willfully extend the brand-enhancing mythology surrounding Richard I/Branson.
(Axiom: CONNECT, JUST ASK, GET A STORY, MAKE A FRIEND, CREATE A "BUZZ-GENERATOR.")
All because Sir Richard was determined to ... Connect & Get the Story!
So ... Get the Story!
(And, if you're wise and of a mind, take pages from RB and record it as well. Someday, you may be on notebook #600—about RB's tally, I'm told—and counting you Billions.)