Seth Godin lays down a challenge: Can you organize 1,000 people committed to your cause, product, or interest? If you could, imagine what you could do.
If you couldn’t name 100 let alone 1,000 people, don’t fear. Start small. Besides, not all change requires 1,000.
If you own a business in a competitive market, 1,000 may not be enough, but you can start with 20 and work your way from there. Or if you want to improve your local school, a core group of 25 or 50 parents may be all you need to change the reading curriculum or gain funding for the after school arts project.
Building relationships is a strength of mine. I’m energized by meeting new people, getting them to like me and forming a strong bond with them. I build the relationships because I enjoy knowing more about the people around me: what their strengths are, how their family is and what they want to accomplish at work and in life.
Today I finished addressing, stuffing, licking and stamping the last of my 275 Christmas cards; 275 cards going out to co-workers, friends and family. My husband likes to joke that we send a Christmas card to anyone I’ve ever walked by in the Pentagon. While that’s funny, if I actually did that I could probably send 750 more. If asked I could tell you how I met each person on my Christmas card list, I could go on and on about what they mean to me and why it matters so much for me to send them a family photo and a letter each year, just to let them know I’m thinking of them over the holidays.
What if you aren’t a relationship builder? What if you’re the technology guy or the details woman? Then find someone to partner with who is a relationship builder. Maybe this partner know nothing about your cause but they know everyone who needs to know. Let them offer their strength while you offer yours.
Wondering how to find this relationship building partner? Start a Facebook account, link to your friends and look to see how many friends they have. In all likelihood, their Facebook friends represent only a small percentage of the people they know.
If you’re a manager, look for that employee that you probably think talks too much. If they’re always talking to different people, they may be the employee that knows who’s who in your workplace’s zoo. They can get you at least a few steps closer to the person you need to partner with.
So whether you build your own 1,000 or borrow someone’s if you want to make a difference, start gathering your group or tribe or army today. And, try to have fun doing it.