It’s the people you meet along the way that help keep you going. Sometimes it is someone who you don’t even really know, but you admire that inspires you to keep at it. To keep chipping away and shaking the tree.
Today I am having lunch with an executive who I had the great pleasure of working with a few times and have made a point to saying in touch with. He is exceptionally busy so a social life is not high on is list, and keeping the connection alive has been almost entirely on me. My commitment to maintaining a relationship is almost entirely selfish. I want to absorb his style of professionalism. Having working with hundreds of bosses and executives, this one seems to have found the right proportion of authority, kindness and collaborative spirit that I would like to emulate more of. In the meetings I have been in with him, there is no question as to his alpha-ness and so he then has room to really listen and get consensus. Some of that is title and experience, but it is also his method of management. So, I want to be his friend and learn from him.
Now, maintaining a strictly platonic connection with a man, as a woman, outside of the normal flow of life is tricky. We do not work at the same place, we do not do the same thing, he is a carrier executive, I am a career entrepreneur.. we do not live in the same city – our kids do not go to the same schools. In fact his kids. I am sure, are grown-ups. You see what I mean.
The boundaries are clear, but anytime a woman pushes for a friendship of any kind it is considered flirting. While he is attractive, that is not the intended outcome. Even big A joked last night when my new friend reached out, “Don’t go to his hotel room.” Duh! Not a joke and not funny. Would he have said that to another man?
So a quick lunch before he runs back to airport it is.
In the book I am reading, the author is talking about the people who populate your life and influence you. She writes, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” This really stuck with me. I had always heard the Confucius statement on this, “you are judged by the company you keep”, but that has more to do with the external world.. This new one has more to do with your influencers.. and it caught me. Who are the five people I spend most of my time with? My son, my husband, my friend and GM, … then it trails off pretty quickly. I need more people in my life who are closer to what I do. Some of it is being busy and my friends, who do other things, are busy, doing other things. We txt and occasionally find a moment to get together and catch-up, but to say they are present in my day to day is not really true.
I joined a book club for female entrepreneurs, I reached out to my executive and will take it from there.
You climb a mountain one step at a time.
Bye for now. Thank you