Luke Seavers and I were in sync today. We both kicked off the day by learning how to take our LinkedIn game to the next level and we both wore black shirts. I couldn't have planned this better, but there was even more in sync between the two of us. Luke and I both did humanitarian work in Haiti, both have a passion for leaving the world and better place and are both running our own endeavors as a means to improve our little piece of the world.
In a time where we hear so many amazing speeches about changing the world in innovative ways with miraculous results, it's always refreshing to meet someone who has been to the corners of the world that help you realize just how good you have it, and just how little you need to do to practically improve it for one person. I've spent a lot of my life trying to leave the world a better place than I found it, and it was a great way to spend some time with another person who does the same thing. He doesn't want to shift the world on its axis, he just wants to improve it by his own measure.
Luke is married to Semone, for six years, a woman who shares his passion for trying to make their own part of the difference. You can tell how much he cares for her, and how genuinely happy he is, even from the slightest mention. I would say that general happiness is probably the thing I noticed most about my time with Luke. It's sincere and straightforward.
We shares stories, me and my time in the service, Luke and his journey from Hershey, PA through Tennessee, Haiti and Charleston. His story, like Katryna's, is incredible. How do you not admire someone who went to Haiti to make a difference? He wasn't ordered, no one paid for it. Again I am in a position where I am fortunate to have collected a brilliant story, but I find myself unable to do it the dignity it deserves in words.
That is something I have learned over 38 years. No matter how well someone may tell a story, it doesn't compare to the person who lived it telling you.
Add to that the unknown, but limited, amount of time that any of us have and it makes our opportunity to connect with others and hear there stories so much more a treasure. Something we should never take for granted, but I digress.
It should not surprise most of you that I am an extrovert. I get my energy from being around people. This project should confirm that if nothing else. Luke is an introvert. He gets his energy from some quality alone time. Neither is superior, neither is a problem. That said, Luke and I have the same hatred of traditional networking, for the same reasons. Amazing, right?
We both talked about feeling like so many connections in traditional networking contexts could feel fake, About how a room full of a few hundred nameless people there to introduce themselves to as many as possible in a business feeding frenzy was not our idea of a good time. It had us both looking for the exits. We both prefer to build a relationship with a person, in whatever context that may be, and then to move on to business if it makes sense. We valued people as more than qualified suspects or leads. Luke has even taken to sharing some of his experiences and tips for introverts moving into the networking arena, based on his own experiences, on Youtube. (We will be sharing that link once we have it. And you should definitely look at it.)
And there was our connection. It was very clear from the beginning that we hit it off, but it was in the mutual agreement on the value of people and our shared drive to improve our own little piece of the world that started to build something. As I observed, you may not look into a room, see the two of us and think "those guys will get along," but you would be mistaken to assume anything else. An introvert, an extrovert, two black shirts and a lot of shared value and perspective. Luke and I will probably be at the same event tomorrow morning, and I can't wait. Just to say hello and see what comes from the connection to this incredible man.
(And now the burning question)
Favorite Dinosaur: Pterodactyl
Why: Because they fly. If you ask further you'll learn that flight or teleportation would be Luke's super power, he likes to get there, wherever that it.