I recently read a touching memorial to Blake Krikorian, an entrepreneur, inventor, and just all-around great guy, according to his friends. The memorial told the story of Krikorian attending his first board meeting of an organization he had recently been asked to join. Another of the board members told Krikorian that he should probably just remain silent for the first meeting. But, a few minutes Krikorian had to speak up to correct some misinformation being presented. Afterward, the other board member asked him why he had not heeded his advice to remain quiet, to which Krikorian stated, “Why do you think I’m here?” In essence, don’t invite me to participate, then ask me to keep quiet.
What a great lesson for us! We all attend too many meetings. Some may include 10 or 20 people. But, it seems to me that in most of these meetings, whether at work or volunteer organizations or neighborhood groups, only about 3 or 4 people actually speak and participate actively. The rest are not truly participating, though they may just be obtaining information. That’s where Krikorian’s comment comes in. If you are not going to participate, why are you even there? And, if you are calling a meeting, why invite individuals you know will add no value?
We should attempt to add value in any situation or circumstance we find ourselves in. That includes everything! If we can’t add value to the event, we should at least add value to others in attendance. Asking yourself the Krikorian’s question routinely as we go through our days can significantly alter our view of our purpose. So, think about it… Try just for today, asking yourself, “Why do you think I’m here?” as you go through the events of your day. See if this simple question changes what you do, what you say, and how you interact with others.
Have a wonderful, value-added day!