Thursday, December 27, 2007

Tracee, "Meet Dan"

People often ask me why I take my valuable time to personally introduce people. Friday I introduced my friend Tracee Swank, True Compass Coaching, to Dan Rogers, the CEO of The Cherry Street Mission. Dan and I had been introduced briefly when he attended a Certified Networker graduation. He was there to accept a check. One MVP from a Certified Networker class had named The Cherry Street Mission as their favorite charity. Instead of us giving a token to the student, we give a check to their favorite charity. You see how very slender the thread of connection was.

Tracee is getting her Masters Degree in religious studies at Winebrenner Theological Seminary, not to be a pastor, but to work with religious organizations to help them better achieve their work. She had told me that she wanted to meet Dan to find out about how he runs such a successful organization.

So it happened. Dan is a very generous man. He gave us 90 minutes of his time. I had to keep my mind galloping the whole time to keep up with Dan's thought process.

And I have been thinking ever since. Dan told us that all the time he gets asked the question, "Can we end homelessness?" He said that he usually answers no, because we are only attacking the problem "downstream" after it happens, not upstream where the root of the problem begins. He approaches everything in his work using his upstream/downstream module. (And I am simplifying the concept by a gazillion words!)

For example, when he visits other countries, and see projects that work really well, he keeps searching for the reason it is successful -- what happened upstream (previously) to the person who runs the program that helps to make this success?

I thought I was just introducing Tracee to Dan. Little did I know that I would find a little morsel to nibble on and to think about as I go into the new year.

Thanks, Dan. Personal introductions are part of my ongoing education process!

Do you make personal introductions? If so, why?

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