When a footnote changes, I know that I should pay attention. Yesterday was one of those moments where my knowledge and my actions were not connected. A new introduction wanted to meet up over a coffee. As we coordinated diaries, I was certain I understood who was going to be there, the conversation we were going to have, and the probable outcome. It was worth the time and cup of coffee.
A reminder note the day before had a footnote buried in it. I recall noting it at the time. I casually put it in a to be explored at some point bucket and moved on. The note said that she would meet me with an associate.
I could have, should have asked.
As I waited at the designated meeting point, I realized that although I had described myself, I had no information on the individual(s) I was meeting. After watching two individuals standing, anticipating something, I took the chance and walked up to introduce myself to the two I was scheduled to meet.
Over our coffees, I found myself in the presence of a senior partner, new to the firm, with a wealth of experience. The conversation was invigorating in a way I did not expect. While covering the basics, the meeting was clearly about sharing and getting to know each other beyond the simple personas. After answering a wide range of questions, I was left with an opportunity to ask whatever I wanted.
“You have come to Singapore, entering a crowded market place. With respect, what makes you different? Why do you think you will succeed?”
Paraphrasing his answer, “we like to think in out of the box ways with our clients. We are looking to help this succeed. If they want the predictable, fine. If they are looking for innovation and transformation, it is a good time to think differently.” In my mind, I heard the value proposition in the words of an old writer; “I want to lay out a far better way for you.” (1 Corinthians 12.31) Life’s daily proposition lives.