I took a pit-stop for a really good coffee and cinnamon bun (couldn’t resist) with a friend yesterday, we were comparing notes, putting the world to rights and generally catching up with business.
Gerry said he’d become disillusioned with the current network forum he was attending. Seems the weekly meeting, consisting of a half hour journey to engage colleagues he’d been meeting with for these past four months were taking it’s toll. He was of course eager to convert some business, Gerry was doing all the right things, he was getting in early, helping out at the meeting and educating as he went along.
I simply asked Gerry what he thought was his main hang-up, putting in the effort for little reward? Lack of recognition? The journey??
Gerry was a little taken aback. So let me explain I suggested, (making a mess of my cinnamon bun.)
Think about “The Journey” Gerry. You already put the routine in, consistently on time and participating in passing information, guidance – but are you buying into the person Gerry, gaining trust? It’s simple, we need patience, take more time and engage a little more, offer a little more.
Do, but don’t throw away all the good work. Just keep doing …
Take the Trobriand Islanders of the Solomon Sea, I said.
Patience now Gerry. The tiny scattered collection of islets situated off Papua New Guinea are home to some of the fittest, most resilient of sailors, those who know the value of visibility, partnerships and trust, the network and referral.
They understand their tiny island economy depends on their neighbour
With nothing more than an outrigger canoe, travelling extreme distances across open sea the head man makes a point of reaching the neighbouring island on a regular basis to engage his neighbour. Through shark-infested waters, tropical thunderstorms in nothing more than an outrigger – this ambassador habitually leaves his island to engage neighbours, to be seen, swap stories, lessons, and goods to participate in the diversity.
He knows the value of his reputation relies on him maintaining a presence. Showing caring and contact. He also knows his family and fellow islanders will never go hungry while cultivating important reciprocal support from his neighbours.
Each Trobriand Islander understands the value of his/her network; the same routine has been played out for centuries. Lessons are learned.
Point taken says Gerry, I won’t ever whinge about my own journey again … support your network and your network supports you, right?
The journey is far more important than the destination, this is where you are seen, weighed up, considered and ultimately trusted.