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The Culture of Connection: Lessons from a Ride in Seattle

As professionals with our feet planted firmly in proposal development, marketing, and business engagement, it's all too easy to lose sight of the important lessons our everyday experiences teach us. Let me take you on a journey, a recent one of mine, which encapsulates a critical lesson I feel we all need in our professional toolkit.


Seattle was my destination, a trip to assist a client in preparing for an interview. Who knew that an ordinary Uber ride through the city's veins would turn into a wonderful encounter, a reminder of how connections can leave lasting impressions?

My Uber driver, a seasoned ex-pilot with an enviable international life story, mentioned that of all the places he had lived, sunny Spain had stolen his heart. When my curiosity compelled me to dig deeper, he attributed his preference to the warmth and hospitality of the Spanish people. Always ready to lend a hand, pull up a chair, and share a cup of coffee with a newcomer. It was a culture saturated with connection.

Consider that for a moment, taking a page from the Spanish book of connection and reflecting on its application in our AEC industry. Cultivating a culture of connection within our firms is a lesson we could all heed. As professionals navigating the undulating terrains of competition, fostering open communication channels with our team and prospective clients can make all the difference.

Great proposals don't just materialize out of thin air. They are born out of great relationships. So, isn't it time we followed the Spanish example? Reach out, connect, and, metaphorically speaking, extend that cup of coffee to someone. Remember, the best conversations and business relationships often brew over a cup of coffee.

Let's make the first fill of coffee a symbol of our willingness to connect, create brilliant proposals, cultivate enriching relationships, and take our work to new heights. The cup is in your hands. How ready are you to share it?

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