So I had breakfast with a girlfriend this past weekend, and we were talking about the power of connections. On its face, a modest notion. And yet each of us can think of a moment when we really connected with someone in a way that changed our lives. A mentor, a teacher, a boss, a friend, maybe even a child. And as we continue to explore the hybrid/virtual world of work, connections can be harder to achieve. Enter kintsugi, the Japanese art of repairing broken pottery by mending the areas of breakage with gold. Hah. Cracked pots connected in such a way that the newly created thing is art. Poetic, don’t you think?
I submit that, beyond anything else we do, making a connection with another person is the most powerful thing we can experience. It’s “gold.” Human connection is what makes us feel heard, understood, seen. And it gives us a sense of belonging. Lest you think I’m getting too touchy-feely here: when it comes to business, long term partners and clients bring us sustainability and growth. Simply put, those long term relationships are built on connections. We do business with those we know and we like. We listen to people we trust. And we are encouraged by people we value.
I find that, as I make ever-stronger connections with you, I’m expanding: my thinking, my perspectives, my understanding. And I’m learning that proximity is key to developing empathy. The better I connect to you, the better I can appreciate you. Even when we disagree. We can transform differences into possibilities; we can experience the “one plus one equals three” phenomenon, where together we do something new and amazing. All through connections.
This is immediately relevant because our Annual Meeting is fast approaching on March 2. Our speaker panel this year, along with our fabulous emcee, come from our region. Are leaders among us. And I already have grown through our conversations, our laughter, their amazing and creative ideas. I look forward to introducing you to them as well!
I encourage you to commit to connecting with someone, in person. No matter how small such a moment may seem, it’s worth your effort. Chambers exist to create such opportunities, and I look forward to knowing you as well!
See you in the trenches,