Yesterday evening, my good friend, Andrea Bernardini, treated me to dinner at the Barton Hills Country Club. At dinner, she introduced me to several of the connections that she had made at the club. Seated at our table was a City Councilmember and his lovely wife and a good friend of theirs who had helped found, NanoBio, a successful local biotech firm.

Heady company, indeed. I don’t mind saying that I felt just a little intimidated. Fortunately for me, I have been reading Keith Farrazzi’s awesome book “Never Eat Alone” and just that morning had read:

Just remember that famous and powerful people are first and foremost people: They’re proud, sad, insecure, hopeful, and if you can help them achieve their goals, in whatever capacity, they will be appreciative.

With that in mind, I just approached the group like I would any other. You know what? They were people first an foremost.

I got to hear about Katie and Tony’s first grandchild (with pictures, of course). Tony told me about his two Harley-Davidson motorcycles and some of the rides he used to take. They all told stories about the friends they had made over the years and the adventures they had experienced together — some good, some bad.

The thing that tickled me most, though, was talking with Tony and Ted about the importance of networking. They both agreed that networking was the way that great things get done. Tony’s connections help him every day as he serves his ward on the city council. Ted talked about how all of the connections that he was able to call on made starting up NanoBio significantly easier.

Despite our vast differences in experience and in the circles in which we travel, I found kindred spirits among my tablemates. By the end of the evening, we were all teasing and laughing with each other, just like everyone else does.

Imagine that.

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