Seven Ways to Find Extra-Ordinary Connections

Your current relationships reflect your future.

Expand your current network of relationships with people who make you uncomfortable.

the input you most dislike may change you most-1

Don’t give a damn:

Connect with an outstanding person who doesn’t need you to like them and doesn’t care if you do.

Find a voice who doesn’t have a dog in the fight. The people who like you may shelter you.

Not like you:

Have situation-specific conversations with people who…

  1. Are successful, but you don’t like.
  2. Know more than you.
  3. Think differently from you.
  4. Have skills you don’t have.
  5. Work in industries where you don’t work.

Find reasons to listen to someone, rather than reject them.

Kicks vs. pats:

The input you most dislike may change you most. Explore it.

A kick in the pants often does more good than a pat on the back.


Ignorance justifies itself with the frailties of others. “They aren’t so hot, either.” But, exceptional people are often obsessive, unbalanced, or irritating.

Connect with someone who stands out in one area and falls down in others.

Ignorance finds “good” reason to reject insight.

  • Yes, she’s a big success, but she walked on people to get there.
  • Sure, he seems pretty sharp, but he hasn’t made much money.
  • OK, she’s doing well, but she’s not like me.

Self-justification limits us.

7 ways to find extraordinary connections:

  1. Ask permission to follow-up with someone you just met at a conference. “Could I give you a call?”
  2. Elevate current acquaintances to situation-specific advisors. Where are they exceptional?
  3. Ask your current circle of friends for suggestions.
  4. Think of old classmates.
  5. Reach out to competitors.
  6. Email someone you admire.
  7. Say, “I wonder what you think about ______,” to a new acquaintance.

Bonus: Ask a stranger what they are really great at. What are they doing that makes them great?

Where might leaders find new voices that could speak into their lives?

Have you had a conversation with an unexpected person that changed you?



I’m delighted to partner with Clarity Development Consulting to offer the proven “Coaching for Engagement” program. Drop me an email if you’d like to explore having Bob Hancox and me come to your organization to begin developing a coaching culture in your organization.