At the Milken Institute Global Conference, I have to admit that I showed up feeling like I really didn’t fit in. These people are mostly economists and world leaders, thinkers on a much bigger stage than I normally consider. These folks are talking about things like how to steer back out of fuel dependency and how to improve medical devices. Who am I? I’m just a typist.
Have you ever felt that way? Have you felt that sense that you don’t have anything to give?
You Always Have Something To Give
Rafael Pastor of Vistage invited me to speak at his breakfast today. This event is an annual meeting of Vistage members and friends, leaders from various walks of life. I was their speaker this morning. I met with Rafael the night before, who by the way, before coming to run Vistage was CEO of Hoyts Cinemas Corporation; President of USA Networks International; Executive Vice President, International, of News Corporation and Fox Television International; and President of CBS/Fox Video International. (That’s from his bio). Read the translation: smart guy who expects a lot.
At the breakfast, I talked to people about social media, but mostly about the fact that it wasn’t really different from the old ways we have of communicating and doing business. I tried to demystify it. I told jokes. I gave them serving suggestions. I told them stories that are old to social media nerds, but were new to their audience. And I invited them to explore listening and trying things out, and doing more with the tools.
Really, I was just myself. Except that I was myself in a way that I hoped would add something to the thoughts of these really smart leaders. But that’s all we can be anyhow, right?
What to Give
That always depends. A friend of mine is dealing with a sick relative. I reminded her that people love her. Another friend of mine is feeling sick, so I offered to mail DVDs or something to make the time go by. At events where you’re the fish out of water, you can give the oddball perspective.
At Milken’s Global Conference 2011, I’m definitely the odd man out, but my friend Bonin Bough from PepsiCo gave me a nice shout-out in his panel, and I got the chance to meet some wonderful people in his session. So what did he give me? A lifeline.
There’s always something to give. You can give to directly help those in Alabama. Buy something off this wish list (not an affiliate link).
Are you looking hard to give? That’s what I’m learning about in my travels. So what’s your take on this?