Bob Gambone is a regular contributor to CRPAA, sharing his vast experience in the executive business world. Bob writes:
Several decades ago, I was a young cocky manager who thought I knew it all.
After all, I just won manager of the month, scored a great bonus and received an awesome promotion.
An associate of mine, we will call her Mary, reached out to me at my awards celebration and said if I ever needed her help, just let her know.
Mary was my hero; keyword here is “was.” She was a leader, my mentor… but in my eyes, I had no need for her anymore. “Thanks for the offer Mary, let me think about,” was my answer to her generous offer.
Twenty years later:
Some twenty years later I ran into Mary. She had left the company, started a new career and in my eyes, she was very successful. I of course boasted about my success and never even asked Mary how she was doing. Once again, she reached out to me and offered her help. Really, I thought… “Thanks for the offer Mary, let me think about it,” I said AGAIN.
Fast forward to today:
I was attending a business event, when out of the corner of my eye I saw Mary walking towards me. She seemed distraught. We engaged in conversation and it turns out that Mary was struggling with her business, had been for years and needed help. Help that I knew I could offer.
“Mary,” I said, “please let me help you.”
She looked at me and said, “Thanks for offer Bob, let me think about it.”
I left the event very frustrated and confused.
Leadership is giving, and when Mary offered me help, I shut the door before I had a chance to see what was on the other side, denying her the opportunity to give. Years later, she reciprocated… I think not to be revengeful, but since I never accepted her help, she probably thought my offer was not genuine.
Songwriter and poet James Durst once wrote:
“Help one another; there’s no time like the present and no present like the time.”
No matter how successful you are in business, when someone offers you help, accept it… help is giving… help is a gift.
Eric Pensenstadler’s commentary:
Let’s take Bob’s lesson above one step further. What is your standard response when someone asks you how you are doing? If you’re like 99% of the rest of us then you say “good and you”. That’s about as completely disingenuous as you can get! No disrespect is meant. We don’t mean to be insincere or rude or short with the person. That’s just how we’re conditioned to answer that question… until now.
Bob once told me “when someone asks you how you’re doing, answer them!”.
Since then, I have been fortunate to engage in many wonderful conversations, and have even picked up clients as well as members of this association simply by answering that question and engaging in conversations!
Try it. I challenge you this month to not once say “good and you” when someone asks how you are doing. Answer them! Tell them what you’re working on. Tell them what’s going on in your life or in your business. Tell them about this great new drone association you joined! It’s actually not easy. We’re so conditioned to have that standard routine response, but it can be fun! Try it and see what happens!
Passion, Leadership, Results!