Who You Know.
What you know is important, but I’d argue WHO you know is even more important.
I graduated high school in what was considered a ‘small town’ relative to neighboring communities – a community with lots of big farm families. I learned early on the impact of word of mouth (both good and bad) and the foundation for ‘managing your personal brand’. When I work with kids now my mind is blown whenever they think they can do something “here” and then do something else “there” and not think that the two worlds will collide. Regardless of the size of our community, worlds are colliding every day if we’re paying attention.
Why does this matter? It matters because anyone can speak to skill – anyone can put something on their resume and say they do it or sit across from you and tell you a lie and mislead you. But trust is in the character of a person, not a skill; character is developed from the morals and values fostered through daily interactions. Trust and character come from a community and communities know who you are – even when we ourselves sometimes lose sight of it.
This is a big one….
- Donna came back to visit us this year at our party in Bloomington. She’s long gone from Vision but always in our family. Donna reminded us today that she was connected to us by my cousin’s sister-in-law who she worked with in the 90’s. (Donna was a story from a few years ago, and a Star Performer of the year)
- We had a customer that had to decline a group tour of High School Students – but instead of a flat no, they said “No, but…” and he connected them with us – because he knew they’d be taken care of. And that they were!
- Yesterday I met someone in our office and through conversation it turns out she buys her beef from my sister and they had only ever emailed! Ha! Small world.
- Often, we are that community connection for our clients and candidates….An employee returned from an interview: “I think the interview went great honestly. I feel very very confident about it. Never felt so comfortable in interview until I met them! I love the whole atmosphere of the company. I strongly believe I can succeed and grow in this company!”
- When you go to your boyfriend’s family Easter and suddenly find yourself engaging in work convo with multiple people….you realize that the trust is real and it’s FUN and engaging!
- Barb interviewed with us in 2012, and it wasn’t until this year, 2019, that we found her the right job – you just never know when those good connections are going to pop up!
- We worked with Evie this year, who was a connection from her Aunt’s friend – She’s a single mom and looking to find a stable work home. And once she landed she said, “Thank you! Really, if it wasn’t for you guys I wouldn’t even have found this job so double THANK YOU!!! “
- Jonah worked for us this summer, he is from Roseau and plugged in with us through a customer, and his mom gets her hair cut by my cousin (Had to include this one – shout out to the Roseau fam, and holler back if you have a Roseau connection too!)
- Countless stories of students coming through town, or returning from break for college, or looking to get started in a new path – nearly all of them stemming from word of mouth opportunities
- Bob had a job of 30+ years before they moved out of town. He came to us, because his niece works here. She sat with him and did the paperwork, she considered him for multiple positions and eventually landed on the right one – one that was a small locally owned company. Last we heard from him he had said “Thanks again for finding me the job!” and he went on to say how much he loved it, how much they take care of him, pay him well and give him OT – he raved and raved about the success!
- Jim came to us because he’s retired and his wife doesn’t want him home anymore; his brother in law is a friend of a friend. After starting in his position a number of years ago, he again retired. And this fall he came back to work! Thank you for your hard work Jim and positive attitude!
As I reflect on this, it’s not about who you know. It’s about who knows you. Because life’s connections aren’t merely happenstance; these connections happened by having trust in others and faith in their character which is established through the relationships of people who know them.
Merry Christmas to you and yours,