wp-content-uploads-2010-06-alan_partridge.jpegMy friend Robin Dickinson had what I described as the greatest blog ever recently. His post “Share Words“, in which he gave hands on advice on assisting people with their own share words – short phrases to help him share what they are about – to every person who commented. The best bit was how the community began helping one another with their share words, and to date, there are 697 comments.

To be a king maker, you have to know your kings. The strongest teams are those who know each other inside out, and can maximise each other’s strengths and minimise each other’s weaknesses. This is why Robin’s share words are so important, because they help us know each other.

Knowing you, and you knowing me, means that we don’t compete with each other but we complete each other:

  • When anyone asks me who to speak to about digital publishing, I tell them it’s Andrew Davies and Ed Barrow at Idio.
  • If anyone needs measurement and integration consultancy with Social Media, I tell them they need to speak to Olivier Blanchard and attend Red Chair in London later this month.
  • Anyone who is overloaded I tell to read Robin Dickinson’s blog immediately and start developing diamond-focus.
  • Those who want Social Media advice and are in Bristol or Cheltenham I tell to speak to Chris Hall and attend Media140 in Bristol this month.
  • Any person who wants to really impact on a social scale I hook up with Stephanie Rudat and the exceptional work she is doing, or point to Jeff Hurt and Dave Lutz to learn how to improve learning.
  • For those wanting to take their organisations beyond marketing, I refer them to Ann Holman.

And likewise, these people are plugging people into me who need the strengths that I have.

The Multiplying Effect of People-to-People

When we talk people-to-people like this, we encounter a multiplying effect. A scripture in the bible that confounded me for years was “One can put a thousand to flight, two can put ten thousand to flight.” I never understood how 1+1 could equal 10, but then I began to realise that if I spend my day doing what I am best at, and let others do what they are best at, then I no longer have to waste my time and neither do they. My day becomes more productive, and our combined productivity equals a 10.

The big question of course is “do you know me?” – or rather – “do I know you?” The volume-based game that most are playing online booms with a resounding “No” because everyone is too busy building their own super personal ego brand, complete with logo and 30 day programme, that they don’t have the time nor the inclination to get to know you.

However people-to-people is not a volume but value play and we must know each other – and know each other well. Without this, we do not understand each other’s strengths and therefore don’t achieve this multiplication of strengths.

The answer then is plain: know me, and enable me get to know you.

Note: this is an active pursuit, and the one of a leader. Followers not necessary.

Your Leading Thoughts

  • How do you get to really know people, practically?
  • How are you managing those relationships successfully and ensuring that you build deep, value-based relationships rather than getting sucked into the volume game that most people play?

P.S. If you have no idea what that photo above is about, watch this.

Archived Comments

  • http://radsmarts.com Robin Dickinson

    “How do you get to really know people, practically?”

    This is a really great question, Scott.

    I think about this a lot. It’s a way of life, rather than something we can dip in and out of.

    Speaking from my own rather limited experience, I would say these three things are central to my approach:

    a) Believe in people. Have their best interests at heart – always. Make your purpose people-based.

    b) Honour people. Respect their successes, experience, their differences, their decisions and their failures.

    c) Hear people. Every time you are speaking, you have stopped tuning-in to others. Listen to them carefully – as if they were the most important person on the planet – with real intent and presence. Hear the heart behind the thoughts. Hear the wants beneath the needs. Hear how it is for them – how it really is.

    Thank you for sharing about sharewords. It’s humbling to know that even as I write this comment, there are souls helping other souls succeed in the comments of that post. Literally, people-to-people – people taking action to help others. They move and inspire me.

    As you say, Scott, this is a value-based play. Volume is the big lumbering dinosaur who may want to engage and build the relationships you describe, but will never be able to.

    My diamond focus is on a very small group of people – less than 100 – investing the time and muscle to really get to know them, serve them and be there for them. So glad you are one of those people, Scott. It’s an honour to serve in your kingdom.

    Robin :)

  • http://widget.xssl.net/~admin228/graphic-design/ teedp

    I saw a bloke that looked like Alan Partridge this morning – almost crashed the car!
    Whitchurch post office – same shiny skin and shirt tucked in – superb !!

    Great post!

  • http://www.rosagarriga.net Rosa Garriga

    Hello Scott,

    I agree pretty much with what Robin Dickinson reccommends to get to know people.
    For me the key is to really listen and try to understand the other person, avoiding any jugdments.

  • / Scott Gould

    Hey Robin

    Good words. I think all of these three points you make are about FOCUS – something I’ve learned from you, and am learning more everyday.

    In my talk last Friday I said that “Social” means you can’t multitask. You can’t talk to someone and then be on your phone at the same time, while holding an effective conversation.

    This focus, when a team share it, is dynamite, right?

  • / Scott Gould


  • / Scott Gould

    Good thoughts Rosa – I certainly need to get better at that.

  • http://twitter.com/so_you_know Annie Syed

    This is such a great post. Awesome Scott. :)

  • http://twitter.com/so_you_know Annie Syed

    great things happen with collaboration. :) inspired.

  • Thedivinemisswhite

    Relationships take more work than than anything else, and are suppose to yield the greatest reward.

    Or so I’ve heard …

  • http://www.rosagarriga.net Rosa Garriga

    well it’s easier said than done! If you want some help, I’d reccommend you to read Stephen Covey’s books. I think this saying sums up very much the secret: ‘Seek first to understand, then to be understood’.
    It’s really amazing how your perception changes about why this person has done this and that when you find out the real story…most of the times even the weirdest situations make sense.

  • / Scott Gould

    Thanks Annie :-)

    Do you have any experience of this? I must admit, I have only learnt this over the last 6 months, and I’m 26.

  • / Scott Gould

    LOL – Are you not finding your getting the return you want at the moment?

  • / Scott Gould

    That is a good quote. I think that for me sums up what “social” is about as our default form of communication.

    I’ll give it a go!

  • http://radsmarts.com Robin Dickinson

    They sure do take work – and that is so often underestimated when people say ‘yes’ to ever increasing numbers of new connections.

    You always add value, Catherine!

  • http://radsmarts.com Robin Dickinson

    Hi Annie, what sort of collaborations are *you* looking for?

    Best, Robin :)

  • http://radsmarts.com Robin Dickinson

    That’s a key build, Rosa – “without any judgments!”

    Robin :)

  • http://radsmarts.com Robin Dickinson

    Absolutely. Relationship-building is anathema to multi-tasking. So often, I see people thinking way off in the distance as I am talking with them. People have become very good at ‘fauxcus’ i.e. pretending to be focusing on you, whilst doing a million things in their mind.

    Lots to discuss.

    Robin :)

    PS: thank you for being my friend.

  • / Scott Gould

    LOL – “Fauxcus” – very good. I feel I am learning more about this everyday at the moment.

    And yes – lots to discuss!

    Thanks as well, Robin, for your friendship. I really appreciate that small note :-)

  • Thedivinemisswhite

    I say Yes to Robin’s comment, but NO to Scott’s. For me, the value well ran dry a long ways back.

  • http://www.rosagarriga.net Rosa Garriga

    I must say Scott that I’m amazed that being only 26 you’ve already achieved so much, or at least that’s my perception. I’m going to turn soon 25 and I feel I’m years behind you in the professional sense… is it because you’ve known what you wanted to do since you were quite young?

  • / Scott Gould

    Rosa, I think at 25 you’ve achieved more than I had. I’ll tell you all about it one day :-)

    But what you must not do is get into the competition game. Don’t look at others, look within. Or in my case, I look up.

  • http://www.rosagarriga.net Rosa Garriga

    Well as you say, this is not a competition! I usually avoid to compare myself to others just because each of us has our own story…in my case I know very well the reasons why I’ve achieved or I haven’t achieved certain things.
    But I do like to look at others biographies, sometimes to take ideas, other times because it inspires me to read about fascinating lifes :)

  • http://jeffhurtblog.com JeffHurt

    What an excellent post Scott and some great feedback from those that read your blog. Thanks for the shout out too and I’m humbled by it!

    Marcia Conner, a blogger and education expert that I read and follow, has a great quote on her new blog that reminds me of you:

    The meek who get smarter and share what they know have the power to tilt the world. ~ Marcia Conner

    Thanks Scott for being a world tilter and meek sharer!

    Now to your original question: How do you really get to know people, practically?
    1) Being present in the moment.
    2) Giving attention to intention.
    3) Taking the time and using great care.

  • / Scott Gould

    Hey Rosa,

    I’m a big biography fan too, and a fan for making mistakes and learning by them :-)


  • / Scott Gould

    Thanks as always, Jeff, for the comment.

    I like Marcia’s saying there – I certainly think it’s true. The network that I have through building up others is quite powerful – probably because it is built on authenticity and genuine care for others, rather than using others for own gains.

    I like your three points as well – all of them are on FOCUS, right?

  • http://twitter.com/VelChain Dave Lutz

    Scott thanks for the plug! Success is strongly contingent on your ability to have a steady stream of incoming referrals. What most people don’t realize is that the best way to get referrals, is to give them. Most media makers in the online world are striving to find a way to follow their passion and make a decent living too. It takes patience, commitment, belief and strong business acumen to succeed.You’re well on your way. Best of luck to you in Helsinki!

  • / Scott Gould

    Thanks Dave. You’re totally right – it’s having a two way flow with your network. The way that I say it is that “I am on your sales team, and you’re on my sales team”