He asked for advice and this is what i shared

Disney Executive Leadership Keynote Speaker jeff noel
Photo: David Smith. Yesterday morning.



First, some back story…

Everything looks good on paper, right?

But it’s actually doing the things, with the pressures and challenges of the real world. Theory is often impossible much harder than it looks.

If i was reaching out to a stranger for the first time, i’d look intentionally (but not forced) to find common ground, personally and professionally.

The way in is trust, and trust is built on honest relationships. Honest relationships are based on getting to know each other. Really knowing each other. Gobs of potential topics: kid’s names, hobbies, worries, goals, dreams, pet peeves and the list goes on.

And this should never feel manipulative.

The text book stuff about relationships didn’t become crystal clear until i retired. When you are the CEO of your own gig, everything is your fault. And everything is also your opportunity.

Other people are the key to building something wonderful.

But if you’re going to ask for something, give first.

Otherwise it feels kinda creepy. Desperate even.

Fast forward. An executive reaches out to me electronically asking for serious advice. But he did not give first. For example he could have made an introductory comment from something on my LinkedIn profile.

If people don’t find creative ways to talk about the whole person, all we see is a business mindset.

Everyone is a real person, including the CTO who asked without so much as a “good morning, nice to meet you”.

i was nice to him, and offered to answer any of his questions, anytime.

He offered nothing in return.

Two things: it comes with the territory, and don’t be that guy to others.

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By jeff noel

Retired Disney Institute Keynote Speaker and Prolific Blogger. Five daily, differently-themed personal blogs (about life's 5 big choices) on five interconnected sites.