Course:  How to Build a Business Development Consultancy - Module 5

"Other than simply helping people to create an income flow that adds to their business or becomes their business, I wanted to open the door to collaborative opportunities with my company and other business developers. That's how we get big, impactful things done.  So, here we are, at a new beginning and opportuniy.  Welcome to the Business Development Consultancy course."  

This is the final module in the course.  Be sure to make contact when you are complete for any unresolved questions and to determine how best to move forward.  Click here for contact.

Module 5 - Segment 1 below is "Build Your Community."

Script and Resources: Build Your Community

This video starts Module 5, which is all about you beginning to utilize your new business development skills. This video is about building your community because your community becomes your business development pool.

In this video, you will learn:

  • How to define your community
  • How to organize your community
  • 3 ways to utilize your community

After this video, you should be able to:

  • Separate your network from your community
  • Organize or curate your community for quick access
  • Start utilizing your community for business development

Let’s begin with the understanding that the community that we’re talking about now is not the same as your network. Your network is, as we learned early in this course, your best asset when it comes to this kind of work and you will likely access the network to conduct some of your business development, but, it is not your community. Your community is a curated collection of people whom you will have engaged in an interview through your attraction vehicle for the specific purpose of exploring how you can connect them forward. You will spend some time with them getting to know them through the interview and maybe even prior to that. They will drop into your community after the interview in an organized manner. And, as you will learn in this video, you will keep them engaged with you, so this group will become more active.

Curating your community is important because once you get past about 100, you will wish you had. So, organize them on a mailing list or online list platform where you can tag them. Since I publish my video interviews on my website, during the posting process, they are tagged and are searchable on my site by those tags or their name or whatever is in the title of the post. This makes my own website a great asset for me when I’m looking for a resource. Whatever content you publish, you might find a way to tag similarly.

(I had already interviewed these two ladies when it hit me that they should meet each other. It was magical. They were like sisters who finally got to meet. One in Paris and one in the US - both powerful and community-spirited with growing communities of their own. Great members of my Frontrunners Community. I could see potential in the form of collaboration, and it hardly took a minute for them to see that, too. )

You will find quickly that introducing people within the group either because you see an opportunity or someone makes a request, will happen more frequently as the community grows. Encourage that activity as it keeps you strong as a leader. If you begin a Whatsapp group, let me share that management will get away from you quickly. People form relationships from there that may go to a business transaction without your knowledge, or may or may not develop healthy relationships because you have a meshing of a lot of different personalities and cultures. It’s more beneficial and manageable if you keep activation with some of the following ideas:

  • Produce a monthly newsletter sharing updates from community members and events news. Here's one of my examples:
  • Make sure your community has its own Linkedin page and post there frequently.
  • Put up a blog posting on your site once a month reviewing some of your interviewing high points. I used to post monthly the partnerships or resources my interviewees from that month were interested in and actually included potential connections they should make. Got a lot of attention but it became a bit overwhelming for me to produce.
  • Invite members of your community to co-host interviews with you where it seems appropriate or you could see a potential connection opportunity.
  • Always forward partnership, event, or award opportunities to your community members as you come across them.
  • Tag them in response to Linkedin postings where you see they’d benefit.

Along with these ideas, you really should make a short list at the beginning of each month of community members with whom you feel you should catch up. Former clients or members you’ve not heard from in a while may have new directions or accomplishments to share. That information may open new business development opportunities.

If you feel inclined, there’s nothing wrong with a re-interview if a community member has done something spectacular, is heading up a major event, or launching a new book or project. This gives you an opportunity to bring on a co-host or even a panel from your community and make it really interesting.

Every time I’ve done a group conversation as a recording, the people involved wanted to continue meeting. The first time I did this, it was with a group of women leaders in blockchain from all around the world. They started self-organizing after I sent them the first email to set things up and wanted to continue meeting monthly. One member from Australia made her way to the US on a trip and got to meet 2 other members in person while in the country. The second time was with a group of funders and innovators looking for funds. They stayed connected for about 3 months. This activity under your guidance just keeps your credibility moving forward and opens the door for business development to occur since you are facilitating these meet-ups. Note here: Don’t be surprised if you are asked to host or facilitate other people’s events or panels once it is discovered that you do this sort of thing.

Utilizing your community is really easy once you have them curated, you start giving them some attention, and opportunities to engage within the group. The connections you’ll be able to see from this activity will amaze you.

Let’s review:

  • Your community is separate from your network. It is the curated collection of those people whom you’ve interviewed through your attraction vehicle.
  • Curating your community is important. Tag the content you create with community members either when you publish it on your site or on an online list platform.
  • Engage your community regularly and create opportunities for them to connect with each other.

Course Author: Mary Kurek, President, Frontrunners Development, Inc.



To email the author:

Copyright 2022 © Mary Kurek

The next video is about finding gaps where opportunities exist.

Module 5 - Segment 2:  Find Gaps of Opportunities

Script and Resources: Find Gaps Where Opportunities Exist 

This video is about helping you to see gaps where opportunities for business development may exist. The best business developer will have a keen ear for hearing or sensing where there is potential for a connection to be made. I don’t know that any of us are actually born with this gift, so I’d have to say that it is a skill to be learned and practiced. Time to start now.

In this video, you’ll learn:

  • How to identify a “gap” where opportunity exists
  • How to assess the gap for potential opportunity
  • How to manage the opportunity

After this video, you should be able to:

  • Identify a gap in a conversation where opportunity exists
  • Assess an opportunity for potential action
  • Manage the opportunity for benefit

When you are having a conversation or interview with someone, there are key phrases you can listen for that will give you the first clue that there could be a gap here where your skills could be applied. Here are some examples:

  • “What I really need is...”
  • “I’m aiming at...”
  • “I’m hoping to get...”
  • “I’m working toward...”
  • “Next year, I’m planning to...”
  • “Our goal is to...”
  • “I want to...”

Basically, any string of words that shows that there is a “gap” between where a person is and where they want to be is an opportunity to be of service.

Prince Omenihu, Founder of Caring Beyond Borders Foundation

(The gap I realized in Prince's story is that he had his foot clearly on the path to leadership but would need to advance to take control of his charity and political leadership interests. The solution came from another of my Frontrunners Community members who gifted him a scholarship to his private college to advance leadership and entrepreneurship. James graduated about a year later.)

(The expansion of this diplomat's human trafficking shelters was his hot topic of conversation when we initially met. It was clear that saving and taking care of these young people was his passion and mission. The only gap was that he needed to expand. Oddly, the answer seems to be in the form of an economic development project for his country that will help his expansion efforts. The project was generated after an introduction between him and another member of my Frontrunners Community.

Additionally, you might hear a “gap” in a conversation when someone is talking about a project launch, new book, partnership, or something else that points out a direction that has yet to be completed. The “gap” between now and their intention provides an opportunity to serve. 

So, let’s talk about how you assess the opportunity and how you would manage that. If the “gap” is about a yet-to-be-tackled goal, like a plan or desire, then the opportunity is wide open. There are a few steps to help you take action. You should:

  • First, ask them who or what types of people they think they need to help them reach their goal. Take notes on any names that surface for you when they respond.
  • If they aren’t sure what types of resources they’d need, suggest some types of people that you believe could be useful.
  • Ask them if introductions to these types would be helpful in getting to their goal quicker and easier, and that you may have some people you could introduce soon. If they agree, let them know about your service. If they aren’t sure, let them know if they’d like to speak again about this with you, you’re open to that. But, save the notes you took on who you think you could introduce.

If the gap that you realize is one where the person has already launched something and there’s an anticipated result that has yet to be reached, you could:

  • First, ask them if there are certain types of people they feel would help them accelerate their progress. Take notes on any names that surface for you when they respond.
  • If you haven’t already interviewed them, this might be a good time to offer that. Most people who have launched something either need funding or publicity or both. Your offer of an interview will open the door to learning more and bringing them into your community. If they don’t become a client, they could very well become someone you introduce to a client.

There are other more advanced ways to see opportunities in conversations and situations. I’m providing in the script text links to two postings with tips and stories and short audio podcasts I did on the subject. Be sure to check the text for the script.

Time to review:

  • Be alert for key phrases that let you know that there is a “gap” between where someone is and where they want to be.
  • Listen to people who talk about new projects, launches, and other directions they’ve started but not yet completed. Opportunities exist in the space between where they are and their intended results.
  • Always ask the person first if there are types of people they feel would be helpful to them to meet.
  • Always take notes when people tell you what resources they need and keep the names of people you think you’d introduce. Save that note for a while even if the person doesn’t hire you right away.
  • For people who have launched something but have yet to complete their project, you should invite them to an interview to create more engagement.

Course Author: Mary Kurek, President, Frontrunners Development, Inc.



To email the author:

Copyright 2022 © Mary Kurek

The next video is about using your attraction vehicle to secure partnerships.

Module 5 - Segment 3:  Use Your Attraction Vehicle for Partners

Script ad Resources: Use Your Attraction Vehicle to Secure Partnerships

One of the best ways to quickly expand your reach and community is through partnerships.  If you already own a business, you likely already know this.  But, strategically aiming for certain types of partnerships may not have been in your plan.  It should be.

In this video, you’ll learn to:

    • Define for yourself what a good partnership looks like
    • Identify your assets for what makes you a good partner
    • Create a strategy for using your attraction vehicle to secure partnerships

After this video, you will be able to:

    • Know what type of partnership will work best for your business
    • Know what benefits you expect to bring to a partnership
    • Develop a strategy for completing a new partnership using your attraction vehicle

First of all, your attraction vehicle is the best way to get to know someone new.  Through conducting an interview, you get to know missions, directions, goals, dreams, backgrounds, networks, and more. This same process is useful for finding new partnerships, but, first, let’s consider what a good partnership will look like.  Here are some tips:

    • Leadership and/or organization is influential (Must be credible and have leadership qualities)
    • Established history of success with a strong network
    • Responsive - communication is key in any partnership
    • Must have something that would be meaningful to your business (an audience, specific market access, access to amazing board members, international ties, a publicity outlet or events where you could be visible, and so on.)

Now, consider what you have to offer in a partnership.  Here are some items to think about when considering your benefits offering:

    • #1 - you have an attraction vehicle where publicity can flow for events or interviews
    • You have a community (business development pool of people you actually know - not just names on a list)
    • You are globally diverse and have access to a specific space or a multitude of spaces
    • Business development services as an advisory board member
    • Hosting, facilitation, and speaking skills
    • Connections to resources in the tech or finance world
    • Connections to high-level types in countries where expansion may be of interest
    • Connections to potential project or event sponsors
    • If you can speak several languages, that’s a plus
    • If you have experience serving on boards, that’s also a plus
    • If you have experience working with startups - that could also be a plus

Now, let’s create a strategy for you to target a particular entity for a partnership and utilize your attraction vehicle for securing that partnership.  We’ll call this an exercise, but make it count.  Here’s your “To-Do” list:

  1. Determine if the type of partnership you wish is one that places you on an advisory board or committee of an organization.  If it does, then you’ll be looking for who you already have in your community or network who has connections to that organization.  If you are looking for a partnership with an organization or company that has a preferred market or audience you like, look to your own network or community first for that connection.
  2. Get introduced if you can to the right person in the organization. Or reach out to them on your own and utilize your attraction vehicle to secure an interview with that person.  Either way, you want to get them to an interview if possible.  You not only get to explore with them, but you also get to give them the gift of your time, talent, and an opportunity for visibility.
  3. Conduct the interview one-on-one.
  4. After the interview, let them know how important you feel their work is and how you’d like to be involved.  Ask them the best way you can serve.  If you sense they’d be open to a partnership, let them know you are interested.

My best partnerships have come from interviews I’ve done.  Some were unexpected and others were purposeful, but I’ve appreciated them all.  I’ve received lots of free publicity, many mentoring and speaking opportunities, an opportunity to directly impact maternal health in Malawi, an opportunity to serve on an amazing team of diplomats for an economic development project, and more invitations to visit other countries than I can count.

Let’s review:

    • Your attraction vehicle is the best way to get to know someone new.
    • Your attraction vehicle is also your #1 best benefit to bring to a partnership.
    • Using your attraction vehicle to secure new partnerships is key because it allows you the opportunity to explore while giving them the benefit of your time, talent, and your ability to share visibility.
    • Go find that new partnership now.

I hope you’ve enjoyed the course and learned things you didn’t know, even if you are already making professional introductions for clients.  I hope you’ll reach out if you have questions and let me know how it’s going for you.  Until we meet again, Best to you always, and Happy Frontrunning.

Article: What are World-Changing Partnerships and How Do You Develop Them? 

 Q & A with Global Business Developer, Mary Kurek

This subject is my professional and personal focus. While it’s what I do for a living, it’s the work and the accompanying mission that’s ingrained in my being because creating and facilitating connections is how things get done, especially big things. No one accomplishes anything significant in this world all alone. That statement is the reason I believe that Sustainable Development Goal #17 (Partnerships for All Goals) is the most critical one.

To make my commentary on the subject a bit more actionable for you, I’m offering this sort of mini tutorial as a Q & A.  Let’s start with the definition of what constitutes “World-Changing Partnerships.” Given my experience of interviewing hundreds of global founders, NGO leaders, diplomats, thought leaders, investors, and grassroots advocates all focused on social impact, I have formed my own opinion, and here it is:

World-Changing Partnerships are purposeful combinations of 2 or more entities that share a common vision and are activated to create change toward the accomplishment of that vision.

The demographics of the partners do not matter. How big, prestigious, or well-known the entities are doesn’t matter. It doesn’t even matter if they’ve previously created change.  It doesn’t matter if they belong to the same industry.  It isn’t even necessary that the vision they share be immense or the intended change be widespread in geography or population sector, as long as the measurable impact is the result.  There are some things that do matter, and I’ll share that in a bit, but, first, I’d like to paint a picture of a World-Changing Partnership, and I’ll do that by telling you a story.

What does a World-Changing Partnership look like?

Dr. Angela Unufe-Kennedy is the Founder of the Migrant & Minority Disability Network Europe and the CEO of MENÀ Humanitarian and Healthcare Awareness Foundation (AFRICA).  She is a leader in creating and facilitating innovative solutions where she sees the gaps to be filled. Relentless in her pursuit of solving communications issues between migrants and health professionals, she started an organization to help families overcome fears and disabled persons get the help they needed.

What you just read is the opener for an interview I conducted with Dr. Unufe a few weeks ago.  You can click her name to be taken to that interview.  What is missing from that opener is that Dr. Unufe is a UK-based member of a World-Changing Partnership - the primary member is a US-based health innovation and education company - Infection Reduction Partners (IRP).  Together, they are working to train healthcare professionals and supply hospitals with basics in Sub-Saharan Africa.  Additionally, they are activating a plan to reduce the number of infections in mothers after C-section deliveries, starting with hospitals in Nigeria where Unufe has roots. This initial partnership has now expanded to include the Director of a medical center in The Gambia, a US-based Gambian-owned healthcare founder, a US-based business diplomat with deep connections, and my company, Frontrunners Development.  Already, Unufe has plans for the delivery of test kits and a patient data system to the medical center in the Gambia. She has rallied an impressive group of stakeholders in Nigeria for an important meeting that should open many doors for change. She’s already accomplished training at 2 of their hospitals and will finish a 3rd on her trip to Nigeria before Christmas 2022. And, her primary partners at IRP have also contributed a significant amount of time, investment, and product to move the vision forward. They will be by her side in Nigeria.  This is the kind of partnership that is making a difference and working together on the change that leads to the ultimate vision.  As long as they continue developing new partner relationships, the opportunities to increase impact will only grow.  That’s smart and that’s why it is world changing.

Other than creating impact, why would a business owner want to create a World-Changing Partnership?

Seems an appropriate time for another story.  Here you go:  You are an innovator with a health tech product on market in your home country. You know that this product will change lives across the planet.  In order to get across the planet, however, you need a couple of things:  good contacts and a pot of money.  Your focus quite naturally is going to be on raising that pot of money.  But, what really should come first is building good contacts, so, you work with business developers and start looking for the right types in the country where you want to launch. Your team of business developers is connecting you to good high-level contacts who can connect you forward to universities, entire organizations of potential buyers, military organizations, compliance and FDA experts you’ll need, and diverse partners who can help you advance your product into areas of the world and in ways you never would have thought. And, by the way, the search for these types turns up opportunities to speak with potential investors, because the types you are being connected to are also connectors. So, who would be the World-Changing Partners in this story?  Well, first, this is a real story and the partnership development is ongoing, but, already surfacing are several entities that will make terrific partners because they will help with the change or mindset shift that will be needed to manifest the vision.  When that happens, and it will, because life-saving innovation is critical, we are then at world-changing status, and the work to get there is a worthy goal.  If you are aiming your business to impact in some way, the question becomes “why wouldn’t you want to create a World-Changing Partnership?

Securing World-Changing Partnerships is a skill you can develop and it doesn’t require a team, but it does require confidence and a starting point.  If you’ve got that; the rest is just education.  Here are some things to know:

What do I need to know to secure World-Changing Partnerships?

You need to know:

  1. You need to understand how you operate, what your standards are for working with others, why you’re looking for a partnership, and what your expectations are for that partnership.
  2. Your Mission. You need to know clearly the change or impact you envision so you can communicate it well to anyone. This means you know the end result you wish to create. This does not mean you have a roadmap for how you want to roll out the change, but you have ideas and thoughts.
  3. Your Assets. You should know what you have to bring to the partnership table and what you feel is lacking.
  4. Your Why.  You need to know why you want to energize a partnership.  Partnerships require patience, negotiation, documentation, and people management, among other things.  Every partnership, no matter what size or reason, comes with challenges.  You need to have a solid why.

Here are a few tips for those of you inspired to get looking for your own World-Changing Partnership.

Q:  Where do I find these special partnerships?

A:  The answer isn’t “where;” it’s “how.”  I always say there’s at least one person in your current network that will move you forward, even if it is to introduce you to someone else.  Start there. Additionally, if you create a vehicle to attract amazing types of people to you for real relationship building, you’ve got it made. There’s a bit more to this answer, but, a media vehicle works well.

Q:  What are the roadblocks to these types of partnerships?

A:  If you are sourcing globally, then cultural differences can create roadblocks.  What that means is that if you are an ambitious “doer,” you might find it frustrating or offensive when you can’t get the attention you want or need in what you consider a timely manner.  A little patience goes a long way.  An understanding of how people in certain countries treat family events, religious/community festivals, and how they arrange their day will keep you in a better mindset.  Never allow yourself to get offended. Invoke Rule #6.  This is a story I heard from the great Wayne Dyer -- Rule #6 is “Don’t take yourself so seriously.”

Q:  What are the benefits I can expect from a World-Changing Partnership?

A:  Working with others at this level can bring lots of benefits beyond the beautiful impact it creates.  You end up with access to the partners’ networks.  Doors can open to funding opportunities, board appointments, media, and an entire community of resources to help you, your staff, and your clients/members. You can experience extraordinary opportunities to represent your space, your organization, and your vision at places and with people you’d never dream possible.

Let me conclude with one quick story, and it’s one of mine:  A few months ago, I met a young African in Malawi who is the ambassador for a Polish-based nonprofit that impacts maternal health, clean water, education, and other spaces.  He introduced me to the organization’s co-founder and there was a fit, so I became a partner.  In communicating with that founder, she redirected my attention to a great friend of hers in the UK.  I ended up interviewing the friend for my media platform, and, during the interview, she mentioned a US-based company she was partnering with for a healthcare project in Africa. She introduced that company to me, and I became a partner of theirs.  She was heading to The Gambia to companion her Polish friend who was picking up an award and to network with her US-based partners.  While there, I connected her for an in-person visit with the Chancellor of a medical university who sent her to meet with the Medical Director of an area hospital. Seeing the conditions of the facility, she vowed to partner with the Director to find resources to help that hospital.  Meanwhile, I introduced the CEO of that US-based healthcare company to a health tech innovator looking for contacts and resources in the US. The CEO vowed to help by partnering with the innovator to provide several introductions: some of those to potential investors. And, the network and web of connections have continued with all parties in this story.  But, if this story sounds familiar, it’s the story that started with Dr. Angela Unufe that I shared earlier.  It’s a way of showing you how this kind of relationship-building can happen and how easy it is when the ball gets rolling to manifest World-Changing Partnerships.

Best to you and Happy Frontrunning.

Note:  *All but one of the partners mentioned in these stories are members of the Frontrunners League, our curated community of world problem solvers and interviewees in Frontrunners Innovate.

Article: What I’ve Learned from Frontrunners by Mary Kurek

It’s amazing when I look back on how many people I’ve interviewed over the last eight years. I’ve begun keeping count of the countries in which I’ve established a rapport with a “Frontrunner.” My definition of a Frontrunner, by the way, is a person who is out front with their ideas, innovation, activism, diplomatic service, programs, devices, and so on. They are marching to the beat of their own drum and they are getting things done.

It’s impossible not to learn from such a diverse treasure chest of smart and passionate people on a mission to make our world and everything in it better. And, I certainly have learned a lot. Here, on the eve of 2022, I’d like to share a bit of the wisdom that you’ve not just shared with me but have shown to me. I’ll also let you know why I know that you are, in fact, changing the world.

Trying has immense value

In the storm that started brewing around the pandemic, we (all of us who could do so) tried to help. We weren’t first responders, but we tried our best to help save lives by helping to get needed equipment to places where death rates were overwhelming the system and taking down population figures in countries unable to keep up. League members (Frontrunners) stepped up and worked tirelessly around the clock to try to get ventilators to New York City. Thwarted by antiquated purchase order systems and delays in communication, the 3 occasions we were ready to make something happen, fell to no result. Where one door closes, another one opens. We were successful in facilitating getting needed equipment to India during a covid surge there.

Trying without success can breed determination and new knowledge that only comes with a first failed attempt. 

Since then, our team has been helping to facilitate supplies and equipment as requests and opportunities come up.

What I’ve learned: Resilience comes from unmet challenges. The first few months we were trying to facilitate meeting the needs of pandemic victims were some of the most heartbreaking, frustrating, and challenging I think any of our team members ever experienced. Trying to do the right thing often comes with this kind of “price tag” and no guarantees. But, it is in the trying where we find that resilience. Frontrunners, by their very nature, are better than anyone at consistently trying.

Stepping up is trust in action and trust promotes change

Over the years, I’ve called upon members to contribute their time and talents to several efforts that came up. I honestly don’t recall if I’ve ever been told a flat “no.” Frontrunners are generally all about “stepping up” and bringing what they can to a situation. When I asked Aaron Smith if he could help Ambassador Khan to develop a curriculum to train diplomatic prospects, he said “yes.” When I asked for a pool of mentors for our World Hope Youth Mentors pilot, I was looking for about 20 – I heard from 40 Frontrunners with a resounding “count me in.” When my husband was in the Emergency Room on the day that we were producing our Climate Conversations Panel and I had to ask our young co-hosts (Emma in her 20s and Aditi, a teenager) to take over and run the whole thing without me facilitating, they said “yes.” And, by the way, they did an extraordinary job. When I told Dr. Aniemeka that we had the World Youth Summit host stuck in the airport in Nigeria, he was ready to go get him. And, there are as many stories like this as there are Frontrunners.

But, it wasn’t until we had a member in a medical crisis in Zambia that I realized how powerful stepping up can be. All the way from Norway, the worried request came from one member to another in Indianapolis, and then to me. From there, the request for help went to the only person I knew in Zambia, Dr. Mulenga Lwansa (whose beautiful young daughter, is our youngest Frontrunner). A pharmacist and patient advocate, Dr. Lwansa stopped what he was doing, called our member in crisis, and went to see her within the hour helping to facilitate the care that was needed. I’m convinced this intervention may have saved her life.

What I’ve learned: Trust thrives in situations where stepping up is what is necessary. Sometimes stepping up will be a request; other times it is self-generated. More often than not, it isn’t our responsibility to get involved and that’s the beauty of it. You first trust yourself – your own moral code and set of values and you act accordingly. Where trust exists, literally nothing is impossible. Frontrunners tend to love solving problems, so maybe it doesn’t surprise you…but, they have blown me away with their willingness to step up…and trust.

Personal connection is the answer to solving the world’s problems

The first time one of my Frontrunners connected with another one in person, it surprised and delighted me. How awesome is it that two people I introduced from different countries came together personally? Quinton Scholes from South Africa and Simon Bailey from the US sent me a snapshot of that event. Just this week, Dinesh Shukla entertained a gentleman I introduced to him in his headquarters in Texas. Dinesh likes in-person meetups and has met with co-founders of Giostar Stem Cell Research & Development at their US headquarters while he was on a trip to San Diego. He made a special trip to Giostar’s grand opening event they held at a clinic this year in India. That’s going the extra mile for connection. When Jillian Haslam and Alana Stott discovered that Alana was visiting the UK recently, the two made it a point to meet in person. Jillian and Alana have a shared interest in connections that would be useful for Jillian’s film project.

In the summer of 2021, I introduced two members who had faith-based interests in Africa. The former US Congressman who was heading to Sudan on a peace-building mission invited the US business consultant/private college owner to join the mission trip to meet with the leadership of Sudan. About a month after that call, I received a photo of them all together in Africa.

What I’ve learned: Personal connections are how relationships are built. And, while most of my personal connections are via Zoom, I am keeping count of the diversity of meaningful conversations I’m having with people all over the world. And, I’m not so much talking about networking, as we know it; I’m talking about conversations that get to know who people are at their center. To date, I know people in almost 65 countries. They also know me. Imagine if you duplicate that with all of my Frontrunners. You can. Some of them have been to more countries than places where I know people. It’s one of the reasons that I know for sure that the Frontrunners are changing the world. They get that connecting with people is a joy and a privilege. And that connecting on a personal level is significant to how they are going to fulfill their purpose and help others to fulfill theirs. I realize how true that statement is for me, and I still love it when I hear how Frontrunners are meeting each other.

I’m learning every single day from you. I look forward to creating more relationships around the world. To me, it’s peacebuilding 101 and it’s also how world-changing ideas get to where they need to be.

All that said, probably, the biggest bit I’ve learned is this: impact isn’t an end result; it’s just the beginning of something we’ll pass on to others that come behind us. Frontrunners know what they are doing may take their whole lifetime. At some point, you realize you aren’t really building a business; you’re building your life. The lines become blurred between personal and professional and the mission is simplified to just being the best human being you can be by helping others live as well as they can. You do all this by faith undeterred and with a lot of help from other Frontrunners.

Course Author: Mary Kurek, President, Frontrunners Development, Inc.



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