Last week I attended a Dallas Business Journal networking and promotional event. It was held in Frisco—an outreach town a good drive north of Dallas, especially at rush hour—and it was the first event of its kind that I’d ever attended. The group had an energetic vibe, and a number of editors and journalists were present. At the far end of the room, I noticed a man towering over the crowd. He was young—in his thirties, I guessed. His open face and relaxed demeanor captured the essence of leadership.
I had many conversations before being introduced to this man, whose name was John. Upon meeting, he and I quickly discovered that we shared a passion for coaching and leader development. John was a business developer, newly hired by a publicly traded financial consulting firm. Perhaps because he was new, or perhaps because of his own interest in the coaching industry, he asked me lots of questions about who I coached and how. We riffed off one another's thoughts and insights about living in Dallas, and I invited him to experience the early stages of a curriculum development project I'd been working on. Laughing, I said he could be a “willing guinea pig” for an evolving program, and after the coining this term, I even wrote it on his business card. Our mutual humor made it a memorable exchange.
About a week later, John emailed me, and we decided to meet at Dunn Brothers Coffee in Addison. The last time I’d been there, I’d watched members of a local tango meet-up glide to the smoky rhythms of the Argentinian tango. This was a dance I had longed to learn, so I asked one of the owners, who was from South Africa, if the group still met there. To my disappointment, I learned that the group’s leader had passed on, but my memory of the dance and its energy prepared me for the interchange that followed.
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