Making Connections

Patrick and I have one main joint client, The Caux Round Table for Moral Capitalism. Just now, I was listening in on Patrick’s meeting with them, when one of the people came in late and harried and apologetic. His son and daughter-in-law are in Acapulco, trying to get out after the hurricane, and he had just made phone connection with them; his son is trying to get to Mexico City, where his company could evacuate them. The Caux director, Steve Young, immediately tried to work out who he could connect him to there to make this happen.

Steve’s like that. Going to Europe? He’ll connect you to various political leaders, maybe even have you bring along his personal missive to Emmanuel Macron or even the Pope, with whom he communicates regularly. Or perhaps you’re going to Thailand and would like to visit the royal family? Steve lives to make these kind of introductions.

Steve is a New England Mayflower descendant, and has had generations of family members who have understood the power of making these connections. He also deeply values the inherent power of these exchanges, understanding that they draw alliances both between the people he is introducing — but also with himself.

He also recognizes the culture of these relationships. While connecting people is not just a white thing (Patrick’s family, for example, is more connected than anyone I know to absolutely EVERYONE, and Steve’s and his wife Hoa have a deep, deep Vietnamese network ), he realizes that here these connections can often be perceived as mainly taking place in white societies. So he’s constantly trying to stretch them.

Overhearing that meeting made me sit back and think about connections, to the point that I had to sit down and write this blog post rather than the bookkeeping I was supposed to be doing right now.

So tell me, who do you need to be connected to? And how can we make that happen?