The Every Day Leader: Around the Table

Yesterday I blocked out an hour for a lunch meeting.   The hour lunch turned into a two-hour lunch, then into a three-hour lunch.   The same was true for my lunch the next day. In fact it seems when people stop and take time to break bread together something profound happens.

The time is never wasted.

There is something magical that happens around a table, whether food is involved or simply just a cup of coffee. When you intentionally meet with someone over a meal or coffee, relationships change.  The acquaintance becomes someone you get to know, a current relationship often grows stronger and trust starts to develop.

When I was kid, I watched my parents model this.  No matter what they were doing, if someone stopped in for coffee my parents stopped and made the time to sit down and build that relationship.  It was how neighbors kept in touch.  It is how you knew what was happening with your neighbor.  It was a different way of living back then.  Today, neighbors don’t usually stop in for a cup of coffee; and we are often too busy to invite them to.

Relationships are still built by gathering around together and one of the best way to do that is around the table. 

Every day leaders have to be intentional to seek to invite others into fellowship.  We have to be willing to take the time to build relationships. If you are in the business world it is important to connect with your employees and clients. In the non-profit world it is important to get to know those that partner with you, volunteer for you, and support you in a variety of ways is vital to your success. As individuals we can intentionally reach out to a friend or neighbor and invite them to come and sit around the table for a bit.

When was the last time you took a break from your busy day and met someone for coffee?  Maybe there is someone you know who is merely an acquaintance and you would like to get to know them better.  Perhaps it is one of your employees that you sense is struggling. Maybe it is someone who has helped you bring your dreams to life. A simple cup of coffee around the table, or the simple act of breaking bread can change that relationship forever – it will bring connectedness.

We as people long to feel cared about.  We long to feel connected.  We want those around us to really know us, more than just our name. Remember the TV show ‘Cheers’?  It was the place where everyone knew your name, just as the theme song pointed out.  Something each one of long for.

Every day leaders intentionally seek to build relationships around the table. They intentionally invite and break bread and add value to others.

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4 thoughts on “The Every Day Leader: Around the Table

  1. Cathy,
    Your innovative know-how and graceful simplicity is what facinates me so much about your efforts and initiative to reach out to the world of pain and turmoil. You have no idea how much more people in my shoes appreciates you. We in Khadarlis for Sierra Leone are merely playing our role in responding to the needs of the victims of the Blood Diamond crisis in West Africa that culminated into the incaceration of warlord Charles Taylor in the Hague. Our website even though still undergoing modification is http://www.khadarlis.org and khadarlis-change.blogspot.com will serve as a point of information about us. Hope to meet you one day soon. Cheers!

  2. Salim,

    Thank you for the wonderful comments. I look forward to the day I can visit your great country and have coffee. Maybe it is time for a blog tour, what do you think?

  3. I am thrilled by this piece, I appreciate every word that adds to the value of your craft, hope Khadarlis for Sierra Leone stands to benefit from this interaction and hope it would one day result to sitting round the table over a cup of coffee.

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