To reach our potential we need to navigate our course to a goal. The goal might be a personal passion, a private enterprise, or a public need. Regardless, we need a guiding North Star to keep us focused. We can travel alone, but a constellation of like-minded people will help illuminate the course. The stars are already there. It is up to you to create your constellation.
To begin, share your goal with your closest stars. They may have similar desires (like greening their lives), projects (like entering a market or starting an enterprise) or they might be your peers from the same industry, yet not competitors. Invite one for a walk, or host a dinner for nine, and you may surprise each other. Whether they are old friends or new acquaintances, share your dreams and doubts, your successes and failures. If the theme is neither people nor events but shared goals, a constellation of ideas will glitter.
To build your constellation, inspire the public. You must inspire people to act according to your goal, which is why you should attend, speak at or host big conversations. If you attend a conference, prepare to ask a question from the room. If you are speaking, be sure to get to know the panel, stay behind and meet those who come to the stage after the talk. If you are hosting an event, be sure to take time for the curious who raise their hands. Share your contact details, stay in touch and connect with them on social media.
To maintain your constellation you must influence influencers: leaders in business and industry, public officials, private professionals. They may be experts in the fields, elders with experience or young advisors to leaders. They may operate openly on social media or confidentially behind closed doors. They may share your vision. Or they might not. But they influence others, and you need to influence them.
Look for those who influence when you read, research and report. Reach out to them when you travel, send them your latest research or blog post. And of course, share and inspire. The most effective and efficient approach is to host small conversations, such as roundtable discussions. If it worked for constellations of Einstein and Edison, da Vinci and Gandhi, Steve Jobs and executives at the World Economic Forum, Aspen Ideas Festival … I think those stars speak for themselves.