Last night I had the honor of speaking on a panel with Nathan Latka and Kraig Kleeman at the first World Leaders Forum at Judson University in Elgin, IL. immediately following a keynote given by George W Bush. The evening was very special to me, politics aside, because until last night I had never met anyone who has held this high of an office before. Our former Illinois Governor Jim Edgar, and former speaker of the House Denny Hastert too were present for the event. Equally, I had never met anyone at their level either.
What struck me about the evening was how social circles, at every level, share a lot in common. Mostly in that everyone in them is a human being, just like you and I; trying to do the best in life they can with whatever circumstances, opportunities, struggles and triumphs have presented themselves.
And as I “worked” the VIP room last night, introducing myself and chatting with folks who had supported and underwritten the cost of the event at Judson, I was reminded that all social circles share other things in common too. There are givers, and takers, warm, kind souls, and steely one’s, talkers, and listeners, those who come to show off their expensive clothes and those who could care less but came to support or hang out with a friend. Individuals from all walks and views of life are in every social circle.
People are people. At every level a group is full of diversity. The trick is to find the people in whatever social circle you find yourself in this moment in, and connect to the one’s in it that can truly help you make the difference you wish to make. There is ALWAYS someone in the room who fits that description. But you have to “work” the room until you find them.
The “price of admission’ into the circle, whatever the costs to bring you all together, does not define the circle. Your ability to find your “people” in it- your tribe- is. So go shake hands and share who you are. You never know where it can lead you. I certainly never do and it’s worked pretty well for me. And it can for you too.