Granola (Issue 622)

In which we are reminded that one of the keys to building and sustaining a network is to contribute moments of delight that ripple forward.

“Crema Café,” the green oval label proclaimed. “Artisan Bakery.”

I picked up the green-labeled bag of granola from the hotel room desk where my wife had left it.  In Los Angeles for a family wedding, she had cruised L.A. County and northern Orange County for several days before my Thursday evening arrival, including a visit to Seal Beach, home of the Artisan Bakery, during which she purchased the granola.

I’m pretty picky about my granola. (This surprises you, I know.) My friend, Nancy, makes tremendous granola. My friend, Jake, and his bride make tremendous granola at Christmas. Over time, I’ve found a couple of others that I like. And I’m not exactly on the leading edge when it comes to trying new things.  (You’re shocked, yes? Shocked!).  So, I circled the green-labeled bag for 24 hours before I seriously considered it. And I opened the bag the next day only because I missed breakfast at the hotel and was tied to my telephone for a series of Friday conference calls.

And, I liked it….. SERIOUSLY.  The bag contained about six cups of the stuff and, after my tentative first nibble, I poured several handfuls in short order and snarfed them down.  O H    M  Y    G O O D N E S S ! ! !  Half the bag was gone within three hours and, since there was only the one bag, I put myself on teeny-nibble portions for the rest of the day… and the next day… so much did I want to extend the delight.

By the time I left LA on Sunday morning, I was down to about one cup of granola in the bag.  Off  to Dallas where I parceled out a half cup for Monday breakfast and brought the remaining bits back to Boston on Tuesday.  Wednesday morning, down to the last crumbs, I shared them with my colleague Carla, herself a granola fan, and her eyebrows went straight North.  “Good!,” she grinned.

I emailed the Crema Café asking, “Could you send three bags?”

“Yes,” came the reply, followed by, “Really, you want us to send it that far?  We’ve never mailed product that far before!”

When they arrive, I’ll keep one bag and give away two, one to Carla, one to another friend. Keep spreading the word.

One of the keys to building and sustaining a vibrant, interesting, and productive professional network is “adding value,” stirring excitement, passing on enthusiasm, giving people in the network something to talk about, react to, incorporate, annex, and pass on – each person ‘passing it on’ both gives value to their networks as well as  receiving value (in the form of connection, appreciation, loyalty, etc.).

What we “pass on” doesn’t HAVE to be business intelligence or opportunities. It can be “granola and a story” or a book recommendation or a little skinny on great music or a place to visit. Like

The key is –  keep it up, continue delivering “surprises” and “delights” that people pass on, extending and strengthening all of our networks.

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