What are you working on? Why is it important? How can we help?

I once sat at a corporate cattle call hiring event in some hotel ballroom on the edge of one of those well-known industrial parks where everyone is working for that one big government entity just down the block. On signing in, a staff member hands each attendee a sheet indicating the various hiring managers who had some interest. Sitting in front of one of those fellows, I heard the question, “So, where you you see yourself in five years?”

I don’t remember much more of that event than my uncontrolled but very honest laughter. Looking around the room, all those people… I recognized many of them from various projects over the years when we all undoubtedly had different companies and agencies making promises and taking their cuts… But there was also this: “That guy over there? We’ve worked together before. He’s really good at X. Whenever I need help with X, I call him. And her over there? She’s really good at Y. Whenever I need help with Y, I know I can call her. It doesn’t matter where they work; if there’s something we need to accomplish, we can get it done — from wherever we are.” In my experience, not much more matters than finding these people and supporting their causes.

It’s simple:

What are you working on? Why is it important? How can we help?

TCM: The Corporate Monks