Life and work are a journey. Many times this journey takes different turns and detours along the way. My lunch with Jason Hilty, CFO of Allied Payment Network, we discussed our leadership journeys. Jason has a strong desire to be a servant leader for his company and make those around him better. He has a wealth of knowledge in his field of work, but when we discussed leadership, specifically, servant leadership, his eyes really lit up.
Jason’s journey has given him the opportunity over the past 20 years to grow his leadership skills in different settings in Berne, IN and Fort Wayne. He strives to be a lifelong learner and looks for more chances to connect with others with the same passion. We are fortunate that Jason has engage with us at First Fridays and we look forward to building a lasting relationship with him and his company.
You can connect with Jason Hilty at Jason.firstname.lastname@example.org and connect with him via LinkedIn.
Last Monday I had the opportunity to meet with an emerging leader from our area, Luke McConnell. Luke is a Brand Engagement Ambassador at Aptera, Inc. Luke and I shared many things in common with our passion for competition through sports, Christian Higher Education, and the desire to connect with others in leadership from the Fort Wayne area.
As a recent graduate of Huntington University, Luke has traveled world-wide for the institution and this has given him a global perspective for his new adventure at Aptera. As he shared about his work with Aptera, I enjoyed hearing about the culture they are creating and desire to serve their clients in a greater way.
Luke has a great heart for others and, like so many in Fort Wayne, he is passionate about building great, connected relationships to add value to his leadership journey. Please connect with Luke via LinkedIn or at email@example.com
As you know, First Fridays is taking a break this summer. We’ll be back at it on Friday, September 7 (2018-2019 Schedule).
So what will you do on Friday, July 6 (the first Friday of July)? Here’s some ideas to keep the networking momentum moving forward:
- Look through the business cards you’ve collected at First Fridays or any other networking event. Pick one and contact that person. Invite them to coffee/breakfast/or lunch. Get to know a local leader. Let them get to know you.
- Find a new book to begin reading.
- Find a new leadership blog to start following and interacting with.
- Start to follow a key organization here in NE Indiana. I would recommend the NE Indiana Regional Partnership and/or the NIIC as great places to start.
- Go on a “field trip”
- Pick a local company/person from your collected business cards.
- Ask that person if you make a brief visit at their location.
- Meet new leaders there.
- Discover what leadership looks like there.
- Discover what their ideal customer looks like (then in the near future, give them some referrals/connections).
- Appreciate the value they bring to their customers, staff members, and our community.
Intentionally create value in your community. As you expand your relationship reach in NE Indiana, you will discover great organizations doing great things with great people. You and our community will be better for your efforts to connect with our businesses.
I had the privilege of having lunch with a new friend today – Zach Lear. He and his wife, Erin, own and run LONGevity Fitness on Fort Wayne’s southwest side. What sets this fitness company apart from others? Here’s what they say:
We commit to using our knowledge, experience and expertise to help individuals and communities learn how to become healthy and fit for a lifetime through education, motivation and inspiration.
Zach shared his career journey. I was inspired by Zach’s desire to grow, learn, and the patience he exhibited during the different stages in his life.
Zach ran into a older HR professional a while ago who has now connected with him to help move his business to the next level. Through this casual networking experience, this “old pro” (my words, not Zach’s) is sharing his knowledge to help another business grow and flourish – with no what’s-in-it-for-me. I love that!
Zach asked a lot about First Fridays and plans to visit us in September. I learned that Zach is a reader and is invested in his own personal growth and development. He asks great questions and is curious to know how others think and process.
If you’re looking for a personal fitness experience with dedicated partners, check out LONGevity Fitness. No matter your age (Zach said that a couple of his clients are in their 90s!) or fitness level, LONGevity can help you become fit for life.
If you have attended First Fridays here in Fort Wayne this past season, we would like to hear from you! As you know, we are taking the summer off, but we will be back on Friday, September 7, 2018.
- What was your most memorable moment of First Fridays?
- What thought, quote, idea has been in the front of your mind?
- What speaker connected with you?
- How did the networking time positively affect you and your business?
With your permission, we will share these reflections throughout the summer as a way to introduce others to First Fridays. All you have to do is email your reflections to me, Jim Johnson, at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include your name and company as I will be sure to provide the appropriate link if we use your submission.
Thank you, for supporting and promoting First Fridays. We will be at the Global Leadership Summit on August 9-10 at the Coliseum. And First Fridays kicks off on Sept. 7 with Scott Druhot. We will open registration for that in early August.
I received a LinkedIn message last evening from one of the “regulars” to First Fridays. Dan Hansen (The State Bank & Trust) wanted to talk with me about something. So I called him early this morning.
Dan informed me that a neighbor of his was a member of my credit union. She had a service issue. Instead of seizing the moment and capturing new business, Dan took the road of integrity and reached out to me. He even spoke highly of my credit union, and he promised his neighbor to follow up. He did.
Our team has resolved the issue now because Dan – a banker/competitor – brought this my attention to allow us to do service recovery. He didn’t have to.
You see, a relationship has formed. This has happened because of networking…because of something such as First Fridays. Networking relationships began and resulted in this circumstance – believing the best in each other, following up, becoming better.
Does networking matter? Yes! Thank you, Dan Hansen, for all of this. I appreciate your integrity in this situation. I truly do.
There is still time to register for this free event held at Sweetwater. But you MUST register. We have around 100 seats remaining and these will go quickly.
To register, click on this link: June 1 Lead Your Best Life Registration