Saturday, October 22, 2016


I have blogged before about the difficulty I have remembering names sometimes. This is primarily, I think, a function of needing to to meet lots of people all the time, to have a broad "funnel" (as we say in sales) in one's "pipeline," though I worry at times that it is early onset Alzheimer's (which killed my maternal grandmother).

I use the frameworks I have (lists, notes, stacks of business cards, CRM, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.) to keep track of people as best I can, but it is hard, and there are natural limits.  First and foremost there is the Dunbar number, about which Gladwell has written, and I think he and it are right:  most people can handle a network of about 150 people, and of course they don't "know all of them well."  Second there is the tendency about which Gawande writes in Being Mortal, that people, as they age, typically don't want to meet more and more people, they want to focus on being close to family and longtime friends, the people who have been important to them in the past. I feel that, that rings true.

And yet, professionally, it is my job to expand the tent of people to whom I am providing service and adding value as best I can. And one needs to have a broad "funnel" to get clients. At the same time, I have to keep honing my ability to help people. Thankfully, at least, the process of meeting people, talking to them, and listening to them typically exposes me either to new problems or to ones I have learned about but my recollection of the specific approaches to and rules around fixing them might be fuzzy, and/or know nothing about.  So I learn more about my job, even if holding on to the specifics of each person I meet can be challenging.

Then again, nobody said it was gonna be easy.

Time to take Graham to martial arts.  Will read Buffett.

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