The WHY behind our project.
During the summer of 2013, as the Founder of Best People Business, I traveled to Spain to walk 790 kilometers on the Camino de Santiago.
Everyday I would meet a new person from around the world. I was fascinated by the stories I heard and decided to share them in my virtual journal (Instagram and Facebook).
When I returned home, I realized there were a large number of people who were intrigued with the stories and the pictures. Some of my friends told me they would wake up every morning with excitement and anticipation to see whom I had met that day.
I thought to myself, what would happen if I walked outside my front door in Laguna Beach, CA with my camera in hand, and met ONE Person A Day for 365 days.
Thus, the journey began on January 1, 2014 when I committed to meeting ONE Person A Day. I decided to ask the same four thought provoking questions to every person I met, then I took their photograph and created a movie poster featuring them as the star of their movie.
As I reflect on the people I met and the stories I heard, I am overwhelmed by what I've learned and I feel an enormous responsibility to share this information with the world.
My role in this project was to guide the person in drawing out their personal unique story and make them the "Hero" in their own personalized movie poster.
The Four Questions
Question #1: How would you describe your life today in one word?
The first question opened up as a good icebreaker. Most people chose words that were reflective of where we were standing, whether on the beach, on the rocks overlooking the ocean or on the ocean on our stand up paddle boards.
The follow up question to the One Word was, “Why did you choose this word?”. The obvious answer was because of the beauty of Laguna Beach. Beyond the beauty, there was a sense of gratitude and thankfulness to be fortunate enough to be experiencing life in Laguna be it an hour, a day, on a vacation or as a permanent resident.
Some of the answers spoke to the reality that, no matter how beautiful your surroundings are, there are difficulties and challenges. A few of the words that described these challenges were:
I quickly began to understand this project was less about me and all about the person I was interviewing.
Question #2: If you could change one thing in the world, what would you change?
When I asked this question, it caught people off guard. They were not expecting to answer a question that exposed their personal and worldviews.
I later learned that this question opened the door to some of the most engaging and meaningful conversation people have ever had with a complete stranger.
There were conversations where people were in tears as they shared personal struggles about their family and friends.
People shared with me that they miss face-to-face human interaction, the kind of interaction they were experiencing with me as we engaged in meaningful conversation.
Several people were inspired by our project and have said they would like to follow our example and meet new people in their own communities.
Question #3: What is one goal or dream you would like to accomplish one year from today?
The common thread between questions #2 and #3 intrigued me. People are hoping and dreaming of working a job and finding a career where they are fulfilled and are passionate about the vision and mission of the company.
Over half the people I met said they wanted to have deeper connections in their jobs and in their relationships.
It was interesting to hear from people who are in a successful career or own a successful business. These people shared with me they felt valued in their jobs and they had meaningful relationships with their family, friends and co-workers.
These people are dreaming of traveling around the world to exotic locations to surf epic waves, climb the tallest mountains and swim long distances in the ocean.
Some of their dreams and goals are:
Question #4: If your life were a movie, what would the storyline be and what would the title be?
By the time I asked this question, I had helped to lay the foundation of their life story and it became a creative collaboration in writing an original screenplay about their life.
I had a lot of fun helping to draw out their stories and coming up with an original title for their movie. Some of the titles were very creative:
My hope was always to leave each person better than when I first met him or her and I believe I was able to do that on most occasions.
What Did I Learn?
The main message I learned from meeting and interviewing 365 people this year is, PEOPLE are all about PEOPLE.
I am committed to taking this message to leaders who are in the PEOPLE business and to leaders who have a desire to be in the PEOPLE business. I want to help them create a culture where PEOPLE (team members and customers) are valued.
Our project illuminates what many leadership experts are talking about in their messages to help companies become more successful.
The most popular TED talks of 2014 included:
Our One Person project gained media attention in Laguna Beach Magazine, Coastline Pilot and KX@OneLaguna.
In his book "The Advantage", Patrick Lencioni says, "Organizational Health Trumps Everything Else In Business."
Most leaders will tell you that their people are their greatest asset. This is partly true. We believe when people feel valued, then they will become their greatest asset.
We are on a mission to be the catalyst to help businesses become the Best People Businesses to work for!