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The Long Game

You never know the true influence

of your actions and how what you did

—for better or worse—

might come back to you years later.

Between 2009-2014,

I worked on about a dozen different projects

for Microsoft, helping senior executives

craft and deliver high stakes presentations.

Among them: Jon Roskill, a Corporate VP

who was in charge of the

Worldwide Partner Conference

(otherwise known as “WPC”)—

one of Microsoft’s annual mega events.

Here’s Jon on stage…

Envision this:

17,000 enterprise partners

in an arena-sized venue

with tens of thousands more

tuning in via livestream.

A week before

the 2013 WPC conference,

I was asked if I could also lead

a small breakout session

for Emerging Leaders.

I was happy to help.

The venue was tiny by comparison:

a cramped low-ceilinged room

with folding metal chairs

for roughly 100 people.

While WPC catered to C-level execs,

the Emerging Leaders Track

was conceived and organized by

three young up-and-comers

who wanted to create a series

for reps like them to learn

critical communication tools

to help them advance to the executive level.

That was 11 years ago,

and last month, it all came back:

one of the young session organizers

contacted me to inquire about my speaking

at his own annual conference.

As it turns out, since 2013, he’s built

a sizable company of his own.

When we connected on Zoom

last week, he referenced

some of what I shared

in the Emerging Leaders breakout session,

the advice I gave him…

and the influence it had on his career.

“You were instrumental in my being where I am today.”

(Yessss…I got choked up.)

It was a powerful reminder about

the value of supporting those

who may not be “center stage” yet.

You never know the ultimate effect that

your guidance could have,

and how a few words of encouragement

from you can influence

the course of someone else’s life.

How you show up

and how you treat everyone

makes a difference.

Risk Forward & Rock On,


P.S. This experience was also a good reminder to reach out to those individuals whose guidance and words of support have shaped our lives or careers for the better. What if you messaged one of those people this week? It would likely mean more than you can possibly imagine…

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