Leda Writes for Fintech Futures: something for nothing
Every Thursday, Leda Glyptis, 11:FS Chief of Staff creates #LedaWrites. This week finds her contemplating cheese.
The “can I pick your brain” meetings. The “can we have a coffee” meetings. The “shall we have a call” meetings. The “let’s talk” meetings.
You know them. They populate your diary.
I call them “cheese”, short for “big block of cheese” meetings (and if you don’t recognise the West Wing reference, I will pretend not to notice. Go Google. You are welcome.)
Sometimes they conceal gems of great usefulness.
Mostly they are unfocused and pointless in that they have no point to begin with.
The person who asked to meet you was hoping for some weird alchemy, a pre-packaged gem that you can dispense so that they can get an answer to the question they didn’t know to ask. A palliative touch to a vague sense of discomfort caused by the life of an entrepreneur, the mandate to deliver something new for the first time in both the organisation’s life and their own, the vertigo of learning in a space that has no end or boundaries.
I get the need. But sadly that’s not how it works.
So what do you do?
Just say no. I often say no.
It sounds too simple? It sounds too horrible?
It is neither.
I am asked for cheese meetings all the time. Very often the person asking for the meeting doesn’t know why they want the meeting. It is not my job to work that out for them. I am happy to help. But helping work out how I can help is a bridge too far. That’s your job. If you need my help, it’s your job to work out what you need and if I am the person you need.
So seriously. Work it out.
Don’t ask for a meeting and hope for the best. If you don’t value the time of the person you are trying to meet then at least value your own.
And I will help you.
When you know what you want or need to find out. But I won’t do the thinking for you. Because I really do have better things to do, but, even more significantly, because if I do that I am not actually helping you even if it feels like I am.
So spend some time thinking about what you need and who can help and, if that person is me, then come back with a clear ask, a clear reason why me and a willingness to listen.
But also be prepared for the no.
Read the whole story at Fintech Futures.