People-To-People: A Few Thoughts

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The above photo was a long time coming. That was last Friday when finally, after 9 months since we first attempted to meet, Farhan and I finally shook hands. It’s an interesting thing, this photo, and it ties together a few thoughts I’ve been having over the recent weeks on People-to-People which I’d like to share.

Firstly People-to-People is about people. In fact, to be more accurate, I like to say that ‘everything is about people, and people are what everything is about.‘ We tend to underestimate people. We often make them means to an end, rather than understanding that they are the end.

When I take on interns, one of the first lessons I teach them is about containment. I set them the challenge of fulfilling a seemingly impossible task, which I use to illustrate the point that you don’t have to able to do everything, you just need to know the people who can do it for you. I then teach them the real and more valuable lesson, that knowing that person is in fact the real joy, because our tasks and goals always change, but relationships can stand for a life time.

Secondly, People-to-People is both public and private. We need both, and must do both. An open Twitter discussion must become a private skype video call, and vice versas. Private contact creates intimacy, depth and a wealth of synergy that can then be used in a public arena to add value to others.

Privacy is also about loosing your need to brag, so that when you are in public, you actually focus on the public and not on yourself. One of my favourite quotes on this subject is from Ronald Regan:

There is no limit to what a man can do or where he can go if he doesn’t mind who gets the credit.

Boy, how much do we need that in Social Media.

Thirdly, People-to-People is about building, not bulldozing. Earlier this month I learnt that people find it easier to publicly criticism than privately collaborate. It’s easy to point fingers and bulldoze in the open, but it’s hard to build in private where no one can see to praise you. The people I’m working shoulder to shoulder with – we don’t brag – we quietly get on with it – and then people are amazed when they look and see the stature of what you have built. Like I said above, we need that private connection – the deeper the foundation, the taller and longer lasting the building.

Finally, People-to-People has purpose. Later today you can watch over on the Like Minds Blog a great 10 minute interview that Glenn Le Santo took with Charlie Osmond. Charlie is a highly successful young entrepreneur, and when I met him last week I just picked up the vibe of ‘purpose’ the whole time. Like Charlie says, it’s not about the money, it’s about the purpose.

Questions

  1. Do you have any great stories of building great things with great people on the back of Social Media?
  2. People-to-People isn’t anything new – just a new way of looking at things. Is this focus on connections over community antithetical to Social Media?

Archived Comments

  • http://radsmarts.com Robin Dickinson

    Scott, surely what you are doing with Like Minds is a great example that clearly demonstrates the power of P2P – great people building great things.

    They say humility is the calling card of great leadership. ;)

    Robin

  • http://treypennington.com treypennington

    You’re a trendsetter Scott. Now I’m going to have to run out and find one of those cool hats, though it’ll be tough to match your look/persona.

    I can’t play much on the piano, but there’s one song I learned to play many years ago. I learned it because it was the song our church youth group sang together whenever we felt particularly close—like when 8-10 of us were huddled around a winter bonfire on the pristine white sands of Gulf Shores, Alabama. We’d feel the invigorating breeze coming off the gulf, hear the consistent crashing of the waves on the beach, smell the cleanness of the salt-water-air. Then, someone would start…”It only takes a spark, to get a fire going. And soon, all those around, can warm up in its glowing…”

    We acknowledged the truth that often one small action between two people is all that’s needed to bring warmth, comfort, clarity, unity, to a whole community, who are then able to effectively pass it on to others.

    It’s been a long time since I’ve sang “Pass It On” with the youth group at Gulf Shores. Bonfires are quite as possible these days. Even so, I’ve got a feeling the song would fit well when Like Minds gather in Exeter next month.

  • Scott Gould

    Trey

    You are, of course, the originator of all of this for me when there was a spark back in May 2009.

    :-)

  • http://treypennington.com treypennington

    Thanks.

    It still amazes me (you probably knew that already, though) what happened as a result of one tweet. Given the number of tweets and the percentage of junk tweets swirling around out there, the probability of one tweet sparking what roared into Like Minds is mind-boggling.

    Folks who pooh-pooh social media need to realize that being actively engaged through social media, with a commitment to creating value for others, substantially increases their odds of being involved in something remarkably worthwhile. Sitting on the sidelines, however, diminishes their opportunities to share in others’ journey of significance.

    What’s the ROI of social media? Seriously, it’s not about the money. The “return” is the opportunity to be a part of what community creates. And that is, in the words of the famous commercial, priceless.

  • Scott Gould

    Yes it is astounding – a perfect example of what people-to-people is about.

    Companies recognise that there is a “triple bottom line”, finance being one of them

    We must understand – like you say – that Social Media also has three returns: finance, favours and friendship

  • http://www.lionslinger.com Walter

    All of us are connected, one way or another. We have to consider this fact when we interact with other people. The problem nowadays is that we oftentimes interact with other people for the sole purpose of getting benefit. :-)

  • http://blog.owengreaves.com owengreaves

    Trey, the money is in the conversation just as it is on a Golf course. As I have said many times before, Social Media is not New, it’s just changing to a digital format. P2P is and will always be the best way to build anything. Attention is the New Currency, those who have more of it will be able to influence more.

    LOL! I just covered more than one topic : )

  • Scott Gould

    Awesome ideas packed in there!

    “Attention is the New Currency, those who have more of it will be able to influence more”

    So simple and so profound

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