The Real Story – Making Global Work

Tom’s story is a great example of how global (mixed with some grit and good) can help you win….

Tom had just been promoted to become the youngest account executive at the well-known advertising agency Carmichael Lynch. Shortly after, the agency lost some business and he lost him job.

Tom knew that, in a tight economy, his best chance was to find a job doing something he loved more than anything else. He went through all his possessions and made a list of products and services he liked and companies he admired. His search included going through books and magazine, and wasn’t finished until he had a hundred companies he thought he could passionately work for. 

Tom’s next step was even more novel. He printed out one hundred copies of his “companies I’d die to work for” list and began sharing it with every person he ran into. Seriously!

While walking down a Minneapolis street, he passed a person he hadn’t seen in nine years, Brian. As a freshman at the University of North Dakota (UND), Tom was a student senator who voted to reduce Brian’s student concert budget. The face was familiar, but they were hardly friends. But Tom needed a job and was committed. He turned around and was surprised to see that Brian had turned around too.

“Hey, are you Brian?”



“Haven’t seen you in years, what are you doing?”

“Just got laid off, fired. Looking for a job.”

“What are you looking for?”

“Actually, I made a list of a hundred companies I’d love to work for. Care to take a look?” 

Brain scanned the list and started laughing at the number seven company on the list, Creative Learning International. “How do you know about Creative Learning?”

“I love their Pocket Innovator and have used it for years.”

“You bought one?”

“Yeah, why?”

“You’re about the only one. They’re small, and they’re about to go bankrupt.”

Tom proceeded to ask how Brian knew so much about the business and Brian explained that the company was started by Gerald, another UND alumnus.

Brian offered to invite Tom to meet Gerald in two days at a holiday dinner hosted at his home. There, Tom employed his relational, collaborative, big-picture qualities to help Gerald think beyond the immediate possibilities. They quickly found out they had the same college adviser, shared fraternity friends and knew each other’s relatives. Tom used his connectivity to create options when none existed, and went into business with Gerald. He created an opportunity that previously did not exist.

Have you made global work for you? Let us know!

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