Bridge Builder Strategies was birthed at the beginning of this year. However, like most newborns, it was not fully developed. The concept was one that I had envisioned for some time. It was only after I retired from Eli Lilly in December that I was finally able to convert the concept from an idea to action. Over the last seven months, that experience has been amazing. I have been able to focus on projects that build on my corporate experience, my teaching experience and my involvement in the community. I have shared the firm’s story with a number of people, but have been limited by time and reach. With the launch this week, of both our website and blog, I plan to take this opportunity to share our story with a broader audience.
To start off, I thought it might be helpful to provide some background about the company’s name and how it came to be. The bridge builder metaphor was chosen because it speaks to the importance of building connections.
It’s often funny when we reflect back over our lives that we often find that certain skills begin early. For me, that skill was building meaningful connections, and then working with them to get things done. In looking back, I realize that this skill first seemed to emerge when I was in high school. My teachers, and a select group of my peers, described it as “leadership”; they were encouraging and supportive of my initiatives. The broader set of my peers labeled it differently. This was made quite clear, at our Senior Awards Ceremony, when I was presented with the “Brown-Noser Award”. As you can imagine, I wasn’t thrilled to receive such recognition, at the time. Now, I take pride in the award. It demonstrates that going back as far as high school, my natural ability, learned skill, was forming connections with people.
As I’ve gotten older, I recognize that my peers saw my ability to work with others, especially those with influence, to get things done. This same skill was recognized again, during the latter part of my career at Lilly. This time, those around me took notice of all the people I knew, and my ability to work with them to get things done. In this instance, I was described as a connector. I drew on my network to help strategically connect people together to get things done. Community organizations I have worked with have witnessed the same thing.
To be honest, it is fun for me to connect people and watch things happen
I not only enjoy connecting people together but I was also connecting people to knowledge, ideas and experiences. I think it’s one of the reasons that I enjoy teaching so much. I also like creating new experiences and so as I have created this business, I have chosen to focus on three things - building bridges to knowledge and understanding, building bridges to engage communities and building bridges to create unique experiences, lasting relationships and significant impact.
I look forward to sharing more as time goes on but as Paul Harvey, a well known broadcaster used to say “now you know the rest of the story.”