So I have been narrowing my gaze a little recently, making my work more personal. This way, there is more skin in the game then when I get all high falutin’.
Having an impact on a single person can often be enough – to set forth a new train of thought, open up a new opportunity, reorient the network around new, pulsing nodes. We don’t have to change everything at once. We just have to start somewhere (if we want to change (things) at all).
So, here is a start: Richard Martin.
I met Richard in May for the first time, photo proof right! I first came across him on twitter I think, and he seemed to be agreeing with people with whom I agree. That’s a good start, generally.
Soon after, he joined Change Agents Worldwide, and began participating – always generously, always positively and optimistically – in the great conversations that happen therein.
And he started to blog (again?), and share his own version of events in the current world of work. And his writing is so stellar and pure and erudite; his synthesis of ideas so clear, as is his ability to tell a compelling story, often using film or cycling as a mechanism to unlock a truth about people, work, networks.
So far, so good. But the best is yet to come. Meeting him in person at the Yammer London office with Martin Risgaard and Matt Partovi was quite delightful. Here was a great and deep mind at work, yet showing up with such grace and favour. Introspective and kind first, smart and intellectual second. Ah, what a 1-2 punch!
Richard told me at the #ResponsiveOrg London conference the next day that he is introverted. I saw first hand that deep thinking, and the pause before speaking. No diffidence or insularity, instead a commitment to give time and energy to others’ opinions and processes.
In the #CAWW community, he has shown that same commitment in supporting a host of writers, thinkers, explorers to proceed, to advance – always with a very unfussy, “Let me know if I can help.”
Richard is a leader, from behind. His kind eyes and quizzical smile say to me: “I get it, and I am thinking about how I can help you. This is fun.”
In the person to person economy, generosity is a highly valued attribute. Asking “How can I help?” is a central thesis. Approaching others humanely – expecting to see the good in people, and consequently amplifying it – is a killer skill, one that should be searched for within your network, and when found, both protected and hugged tight.
Richard is a most generous and humane person, someone whose wise counsel I seek, whose opinions matter, and whose skills should be leveraged widely. In my person to person economy, that counts for a lot.
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