My kid loved her 3rd grade teacher so much that she threatened to repeat 3rd grade.
When I informed her that, if she tanked the last bit of the year so she could repeat, there would be no way she would have the same teacher.
“They’ll assume he failed you, sweetie. Just don’t do it.”
Of course, she wasn’t serious…
…but she was completely serious about her love for her teacher.
At her school, they get “tickets” for certain behavior and achievements. These tickets act like currency for certain prizes (pencil erasers and such) or experiences.
(I have mixed thoughts.)
My kid saved up her whole year’s worth of tickets so she could have a private lunch with the teacher.
I’m not going to lie, I would have done the same thing at her age!
When she cashed in on her lunch, she was allowed to invite two friends to dine with her. She invited one of her little besties and she also invited the newest girl in the class.
I teared up a little when she told me.
It was such a kind thing to do.
She had plenty of other friends she could have invited but she chose a girl she barely knew.
I can imagine that that girl will become one of my daughter’s close friends. She’ll be there for her when things get rough and she’ll cheer her on when she’s working toward a big goal (like becoming a mathematician—her current career aspiration).
This girl will also, no doubt, remember that kindness for a long while, possibly for the rest of her life.
Now, this isn’t a story about kindness on its own. It’s really a story about power.
Power, as Dacher Keltner defines it in his book The Power Paradox, is “our capacity to make a difference in the world.”
Sure, you can make a bad difference…
But I love how this definition of power puts us in the mind of doing good. We can rise to power—as leaders, business owners, change-makers—in order to make a positive in the world and the lives of the people in our networks.
My daughter gained a little power the day she decided to reach out to someone new. And I have a lot of confidence she’ll use that power for good.
Now what does this have to do with running your business?
Quite a bit.
Especially if you want to use your business to further your mission and improve people’s lives (and I know you do).
Every day is a new opportunity to gain power for yourself and your business by reaching out to others, share your experiences through stories, offering some help, or simply collaborating on a project.
But first, I have a new podcast episode that’s a great corollary to this idea. I interviewed Jordan Harbinger, host & co-founder of The Art of Charm, for Profit. Power. Pursuit. this week.
The Art of Charm is one of the top podcasts on all of iTunes.
I’ll admit: I was very, very nervous before this interview.
But Jordan put me at ease right away and assured me that he wanted to give me the best interview he could.
His take on the benefits of reaching out & developing new relationships?
“The only way to maximize your return on your networking is to help everyone you can without actually expecting anything in return.”
So if the idea of reaching out makes you nervous, or you’ve had bad experiences with networking in the past, or you just don’t even know what networking looks like beyond bad cocktail hours, this interview is for you.