Saturday, October 22, 2011

So the fabric said to the thread...

Think of a thread.  The thread is just fine the way it is – all alone.  It may be a popular, beautiful, well made, unique thread.

But, when you put stress on it, need it to hold weight, or you need it to reach farther, you need other threads, it’s not likely to do the job alone. Alone, its use and value is not sustainable in a changing environment. 

A single thread can be strong, but a fabric woven of many strong threads can go farther and handle more.  If the thread doesn’t get woven through fabric with other threads, its use and value will be easily marginalized over time and either a new, better thread will replace it, or it will become irrelevant altogether.  Separate of a fabric of many threads having more strength and sustainability, it tends to be more visible, more difficult to discard, and more beautiful on the whole.

 Now think of that thread as an idea, a person (you), a company, or a product.  If you want your product, relationship, idea, company or career, to be sustainable, you maximize chances of success by being woven through the fabric of communities.  Not just your city, neighborhood, or zip code (although that is a critical part), but any community as it applies to the scenario.

 If you want to champion change, it will go more smoothly if you have spent time building relationships with those who the change affects.  If you are opening a new business, it will be more successful if you have built connections in the community, having given first to them, so when you ask them to give you their business, they are motivated to see you succeed.  If you don’t invest in a relationship by being a part of the other person’s world, when it comes time to lean on them, it may not be as strong as it otherwise could have been. 

Aside from the fact that being woven through the fabric of a community or person’s life is the best way to make the most of whatever you have and positively impact others, it is important for another reason.  When you are tethered to someone or to a community in a meaningful way, it’s more difficult for them to forget you or pass you by for the next best (fill in the blank – product, job, friend, service).  This is what makes connections the key to sustainability.  In addition, when you are more connected to the people and places you affect, you tend to make more informed choices that benefit the whole and that have a higher likelihood of success.

The message – connections matter, create strength and sustainability and allow anything to go and grow farther than it ever could alone.  In today’s world, lonely threads are less likely to be able to bear the weight and tension that can come with constant changes.  Call it relationships, connectivity, tethering, or the art of weaving an idea, company or person through the fabric of a community.  Call it whatever you like, but spend as much time ( if not more) on connecting to your environment to learn, serve others and weave a fabric and build community.

…a simple concept to maximize chances for doing well while doing good and overall success in your life and career. 

3 comments:

  1. Love the analogy Kat! This is the way it used to work back in the day and somehow it seems we've become distracted and lost our way. This is such a great reminder for individuals and organizations to use this as a model for long-term success. Reminds me of a shirt I've had for 20 years - seriously, I still get compliments on it. There's no doubt the threads in that shirt are well connected. Thanks for the inspiration.

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  2. Kat your quote, "You Never Know What a Powerful Impact You Can Have on the Lives of Others and What Great Opportunities Await!" is very true. Often times the person making an impact on others doesn't even remember the kind act they showed to another. My friend and business partner was a polio survivor and he shares several touching stories of those who had a wonderful impact on his life. Family members, classmates, school teachers etc... yet he went on to become the only professional baseball player to pitch from crutches. He was also a scout & pitching coach for the Atlanta Braves. People truly had a wonderful impact on him that he did not forget, and he now gives back. He is truly an inspiration.

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  3. thanks for sharing that!

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