When I was 5 years old my mother took me to the doctor, worried something was wrong with me. She told the doctor that I wouldn’t sit still and whenever I was at the park while all of the other kids were playing I would venture off and talk to whoever I could find. I became famous at my grandparents beach club because while all of the old men were playing cards, little me, would walk up to them and just start talking. It is amazing to hear this day how the old ladies remembered me! At the age of 21, I have come to realize how essential a strong network can be and how every interaction you have with someone is important. That is why, as Dale Carnegie has famously citied as one of his principles on how to win friends and influence people I believe in “Becoming genuinely interested in other people.”
Time and time again businessmen, professors, journalists, writers, historians have said that information is key. Information is the key to life because in order to make the right decisions you need to know all of the facts and to know all of the facts you need all of the information. It is through this simple logic yet unknown to many that will lead to your success and the best way to gain the information is through interaction with others. When I became president of my fraternity AEPi here at Syracuse, the first person I knew I had to meet and get to know was the director of Greek life. This would be the person who I could turn to if I needed help or the one who could save us from getting into trouble, be an advocate for my house. And that is precisely what I did. I scheduled lunches and meetings would randomly drop by their office to say hi and became genuinely interested in their job, their responsibilities and their life. Most of the time I wouldn’t even talk about fraternity related matters, we would discuss life decisions or I would ask for advice on certain things unrelated to Greek life. Yet, countless times, our relationship benefited the entire organization that I was president of. Because once I opened the door I was given all of the information I needed to be successful. To this day I can call this person my friend because I became genuinely interested in her.
Becoming genuinely interested in other people is easy. It just takes time. As long as you make the initial effort and show that you care then I think you are taking a step in the right direction towards success.
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