Making Friends

A friend of mine was recently installed as the first female Chairman of the Board for a local non-profit. She is a talented woman who will serve this organization well.

Five years ago this friend was talking to my co-worker. In the course of the conversation she let it be known she was looking for a creative and leadership outlet. Work was winding down for her, and she was searching for a way to be useful. My co-worker asked, “What are your interests?” When he heard her answer, he immediately said, “Let me introduce you to this CEO of a non-profit. I think it would be a fit for you.”

Five years later, after time on committees and the board, she is running the show.

Is it really that easy to find new Board members? Probably not. But my co-worker friend is a good asker of questions. He thrives on seeing others succeed. He notices gifts and possibilities in others and can make things happen. He is on the look-out for people all the time.

I on the other hand, am focused on my to-do list. Writing this blog—it is on my list. (And I don’t mean to brag, but writing a blog was actually on my list for tomorrow.) Projects, tasks—that’s what I am talking about.

My co-worker can knock the work out, no doubt about it. But his focus is on people, on teams, and on collaboration. This is one reason he is a great consultant for capital campaigns.

Every organization needs someone like my co-worker. You can hire plenty of people to get out reports and plan events and do stuff. But who is finding your next four board members? Who is engaging others in the mission? Who is genuinely interested in others?

Who is making friends for your organization?