I believe that many people are more networked than they think. There are two things — that if people did them — would prove that they are more networked than they think.
First, you need to talk with people. When you’re standing in line talk to the person in front of you. I’ll bet you have some things in common, may even have some friends in common. But we don’t talk with others.
Second, we need to read and then talk about what we have read. That brings people into our lives that perhaps have connections to what we’ve been reading.
One evening I was sharing these “theories” of mine with a group of people. We were eating dinner at a restaurant in our town. They wanted examples so I gave them two. I read a book titled The First Heroes. It was a book about the Doolittle raid over Tokyo. In the book the author wrote about the short runway take-off procedures they practiced at Eglin Air Force Base in FL. A great book. Well, I was working out in at the YMCA and saw a young guy come in and work out and he was wearing an Eglin Air Force Base t-shirt. I wanted to talk with him about whether there was a wall or a display of some kind about the Doolittle Raiders. I lost track of him. I was later sitting in the hot tub with the oldest guy in the YMCA. He was in his late 80’s. The young man came in and sat in the hot tub with us, so I began asking him about Eglin and if there was a display, etc. Then I asked him a question. I asked, “I wonder how they really taught those guys how to take off on a short runway.” At that the old guy in the hot tub with us replied, “Let me tell you how we taught them.” Unbeknown to us, he had been a flight instructor with those guys. We were talking with living history!
The other story I told them about was another book I had read about the Great Raid. It was how our G.I’s rescued a group of POW’s who were survivors of the Bataan Death March in the Philippines. There were about 250 Philippine resistance fighters who helped our guys free the prisoners. Shortly after reading this book I attended a conference. At the refreshment table I met a guy my age who was Asian. I asked him where he was from and he said the Philippines. I told him about the book and the raid. His response was yes he knew about that raid because his father was one of the Philippine Scouts who were a part that action. We had a good time talking about what his Dad told him about the famous raid.
In both situations I felt like I was talking with living history. As I told my friends these two stories, I then told them about another book I had read. The name of that book was The Day the World Came to Town. It was a book that told about what happened to a number of the jumbo jets flying from Europe to the United States on 9/11. They were forced to land in Canada. A number of them landed in Gander, New Foundland. The book is an intriguing story about how this town of less than 10,000 people opened their hearts and homes to thousands of strangers that were stranded there for several days. We wondered what it must have been like. At that point our waitress chimed in and said that she had been a flight attendant on one of those planes and she shared what an awesome experience that had been.
We were amazed! An example of what I had been sharing about actually happened as we sat there having dinner.
So — read a lot and then talk about what you read, even with strangers. See what happens!
Well that’s this leader’s view.