We are pushing to expand our business. Business acquisitions, additional sales personnel, and new offices are just the beginning. Behind the scenes we are investing in staff and technology platforms. It is a massive undertaking.
As one focused on delivering the business’ value proposition to the target clients the new clients are interesting. If I was to express the obvious, they are different! They think differently. They have different needs. They are using us to accomplish very different goals. Everything about them is uniquely their own.
I wish I could say that we, myself included, always had this point front and center. While our plans captured the nuances, in hindsight, I do not think we fully appreciated how much things would change. It is one thing to say that we are reaching out to a new segment. Our plans, advertisements, and brochures will talk about our understanding, of our ambition to makes things better, easier, and simple. The reality is quite different.
People and companies are uniquely themselves. Behind every organization is a small community of like-minded individuals. It is difficult for another organization to understand and act on that understanding. It requires dialogue. It requires an open mind. It also requires patience and time.
As I critically them of my reaction, each I know in my head what is needed. In my heart, I also know that listening, openness, and patience as not always part of my core strengths! These are skills I have in part. I want more of. However, I also know it will take time.
I know I must be careful. The conversation I am trying to avoid is the necessary one when one side (or both) has lost the ability to dialogue. In that case, we will have conversations along the following lines. “‘You’ve had your chance. The non-Jewish outsiders are next on the list. And believe me, they’re going to receive it with open arms!’” (Acts 28.28, 29)
Until then, we will talk and act on our understanding. Listening with the intent of learning and putting into action is key.