Greetings. For some “strange” reason I’ve become preoccupied with the value of strangers in our work and personal lives. It might have something to do with my new book, but even more likely is the fact that strangers have played such an important role in my life. Strangers who helped to nurture my love of learning. Strangers who suggested that the world was filled with limitless possibilities. Strangers who saw my potential at moments when I was a bit uncertain. Strangers who took a chance on my brand new business twenty-five years ago. A very special stranger who used his remarkable skill and even greater humanity almost twenty years ago to rebuild a defect in my heart that threatened my life. And the kindest stranger I ever met, who fortunately became my wife. Don’t get me wrong, families and friends mean the world to me. But I have also been blessed to have several important strangers cross my path at exactly the right time…people I humbly acknowledge at the beginning of “The Necessity of Strangers.”

As a result, I am always interested in learning about connections that people have made with strangers that have changed their lives for the better. So in today’s post I’d like to ask a very simple question in the hope that some of you will share your own stories, and that together we can create a movement to make our organizations, communities, and the rest of our lives more open to strangers and people who are very different than us.

So here it is:

What strangers have made an important difference in your life?

It’s not a question most of us think about very often, but I’m betting that most of you will be surprised by your answer and more likely to appreciate the powerful role that strangers could have in your future success.

And maybe I can use another post to share some of your most compelling and meaningful experiences with other readers…while assuring your confidentiality.

We win in business and in life when we are open to new people and new ideas. It’s how we learn, grow, and create greater meaning and value.