John D. Rockefeller was a super busy human. The oil tycoon and one-time richest rock on the block could not have been more in-demand. Yet, after meeting William Rainey Harper, Rockefeller so enjoyed their conversation, and was so inspired by Harper’s thinking that he offered him an open invitation to come talk to Rockefeller anytime he wanted.
To be granted Rockefeller’s All-Access pass Harper must have been quite a special guy. Indeed, Doogie Harper entered college at the age of 10, graduated at 14 and earned his PhD from Yale at 19. But you have to imagine that a person of Rockefeller’s wealth and experience met many smart and interesting cats.
This Begs 2 Questions:
- Do you have a person that you would offer an open invitation to come talk to you?
Or perhaps more importantly:
2. Who would you have to be to receive such an invitation?
Like one of those cooking shows where they prepared the final dish ahead of time, I have already spent some time thinking about the question. So here is my freshly baked answer:
To earn an open invitation to my time you need to meet the following criteria:
- Be kind. Friendliness is the ultimate ness.
- Offer wisdom. Having the wisdom of experience makes you a valuable resource. If you’ve been there, done that, got the t-shirt and hat, then you bring great value to me.
- Be a problem solver. Can you help me think through the problems, shortcomings and challenges I face? And can you check out the hook while my DJ revolves it?
- Be super funny? Humor draws me to others. If you are super funny I may give you a pass on all the rest.
- Offer motivation. If you make me want to charge windmills I’ll make time for you.
- Be inspirational. We can never have too much.
- Intelligence. Show me a great way of thinking and you will improve my own.
- Be brave. Courage is contagious. But you don’t have to wear a mask or get a vaccine because of it.
- Be a gifted storyteller. A great storyteller is an entertainer. Like watching a TV show, movie or play, a storyteller helps fill your life with interesting and memorable tales.
- Be a great listener. Sometimes we just want someone to listen to us.
- Have a great perspective. A person that can help you see life, people, and challenges through an interesting lens, that is different than your own, offers additive value.
- Smell really good. I like people who smell good.
Think about the type of person that you would offer an open invitation to spend time with you. Then work hard to become that person. Not only will others enjoy your company, you will enjoy your own. Which is the most important measure of all.
*If you know someone who could benefit from this message, please share it with them.