I was honored to speak last week on ‘Connection Matters: How to Build your Social Capital’ at an impressive conference in Tokyo – the Global Organization for Leadership and Diversity. GOLD is an outstanding organization whose visionary conference theme was ‘Turning Strategy into Action through 3Cs: Creativity, Collaboration and Connection”.
How did I get this amazing invitation to speak? I got it through my connection to the organization’s founder, Hiroko Tatebe. I met her about 7 years ago at one of my Women’s Leadership Exchange conferences in Los Angeles. Every year Hiroko attended the conference and every year we managed to have pre or post conference conversations about each other’s visions and how to create conferences that inspire and motivate the attendees. The result: she has created one of the most important conferences supporting Japanese women to realize their business dreams. At the same time the conference has communicated an awareness of the challenges of the Japanese corporate culture, which is not at all encouraging to women, to Japanese corporations. Hiroko has given voice to a limiting belief that, in fact, is limiting the success of Japanese firms today.
The other result from my supporting Hiroko in what I consider a small way: she invited me to speak on a topic that I care about deeply. That’s what connections are all about and why they are so important. We can help make each other’s visions reality. And with one connection, comes many more. By my speaking at this international event, I forged new connections with people from the U.S., who attended, as well as many Japanese business people. Since I have a tremendous respect for all things Japanese, this is a thrill for me, even if nothing further came from this opportunity. However, if I stay in touch with the people I met and look for ways to support them, more opportunities will open up.
Look for the opportunities to connect with people. Look for common bonds and ways that you can support them. Have conversations that matter, with new people not in your circle. Connections open doors to possibilities that may have once seemed impossible. And in this global world, who knows where those connections may take you. Like me, it could take you to the other side of the world, or wherever you want to go.