Becky Robinson’s book, Reach, contains the essence of who Becky is as a person. (I worked for Becky as a freelancer at Weaving Influence for several years. I’d like to share a few examples, based on the four “reach commitments” detailed in the book, of how the person and the author intersect:
Value: Delivering value to people, with clarity
Becky writes that “value is determined by the participant of the content.”
One initiative I enjoyed working on with Becky was “Hometown Reads,” which invites authors to list themselves on its site and organizes that site geographically to give them another opportunity to promote their work.
I went to The Villages, a community in Central Florida, on Weaving Influence’s behalf and attended their lively book festival, stopping at each booth, explaining Hometown Reads and encouraging authors to sign up for Hometown Reads.
In all honesty, it was difficult to get people I approached in The Villages, in Tallahassee (also in Florida) and in Thomasville, Georgia, to embrace the idea of something free that could help them.
Here’s the thing about Becky, though. She can see value before others do, and she proceeded to invest money and time in this idea before the lightbulb went off over others’ heads.
Consistency: Being consistent in the way you create and share value with others
One of my main tasks at Weaving Influence was coordinating the Lead Change Group, which at the time was a dedicated site for content about leadership. The site ran a piece of fresh content every day.
It was a challenge at times to fill in the daily spaces with writing that met our quality standards.
Despite the occasional obstacles, Becky set the tone and kept a high bar, both for quality and consistency. We rarely missed a day, and therefore the Lead Change Group provided leaders with a constant flow of inspiration, information and community.
Longevity: “Patiently building to create results” rather than giving up quickly
Becky could use her numerous skills to focus on growing income for herself personally rather than building a company that helps others develop, but her personal priorities are geared toward a more grounded, enduring prize that benefits others as much (or more) than it does her.
The way Becky (and her husband) have poured into their family is one example of how they have never lost sight of the fact that they are responsible for three young lives, minds and spirits. I saw firsthand the attention Becky paid to her children’s lives, and how that took paramount importance. She believes (as I do) that there are situations in your children’s lives when you just have to be present, physically and mentally, even if business has to wait.
Generosity “born out of a desire to give to others”
I appreciate Becky’s emphasis on the idea that generosity is “both given and received.” If I am generous in my comments about Becky (and her book), it is a reflection of the generosity she has shown me. Here are a few examples:
I struggled early on in my time working at Weaving Influence with Basecamp (the project management software we used). Within minutes of meeting Becky for the first time, as we sat in a hotel lobby waiting for our next commitment, she gave me a quick primer on Basecamp that clarified the most important things I needed to know. Being knowledgeable about Basecamp is a skill I used in other jobs after Weaving Influence. It all started with Becky taking the time to explain it to me while crowds milled around us.
Even though I was just a freelancer (and please don’t misinterpret that “just.” As any freelancer who has worked for me in recent years knows, I feel strongly about how freelancers should be valued, perceived and treated), Becky included me in the organization’s life. For example, I got to go as part of a Weaving Influence delegation to a huge corporate conference in Orlando for a major education and learning technology company to help attendees learn how to use LinkedIn most effectively.
I also was able to go to Atlanta as part of a Weaving Influence trip that involved several client meetings. There wasn’t technically space (or budget) for me, but Becky graciously shared her room with me and facilitated introductions to people (Jennifer Kahnweiler and Sean Glaze, in addition to my colleagues who had traveled for the trip) that I appreciate to this day.
One incident that I remember from that Atlanta trip occurred as we were leaving the restaurant pictured above. Becky had a few Weaving Influence t-shirts with her, and a server/hostess got into a conversation with Becky about them. The server/hostess said she would like one. Becky said, “Here, have one!” The server/hostess looked a little incredulous and said, “Are you SURE?” Becky said, “I own the company. I’m sure!” Maybe I’m reading way too much into a situation between Becky and someone I’ll never see again, but in that moment, I saw how Becky was trying to empower that young woman to think that she, too, may be able to call all of the shots someday.
I also know that I would have been very unlikely to have ended up having the best five years of my professional life at SmartBrief if it had not been for my time at Weaving Influence. One of my responsibilities with the Lead Change Group was being the liaison at SmartBrief with the SmartBrief on Leadership editor, since Lead Change had two monthly spaces on SmartBrief’s leadership blog. There were a few twists and turns between Step A and Step B, but I am quite sure there would have been Steps B, C, D, E, F and more – possibly going nowhere – if I had tried to make the connection with SmartBrief without having been part of Weaving Influence.
Several prominent thought leaders shared the foreword (Whitney Johnson) and supportive quotes for the book cover of “Reach” (Ken Blanchard and Dorie Clark among them).
Whitney Johnson writes that Becky “wants everyone’s voice to have the opportunity to do the job it is meant to do. That’s her promise and she keeps it.”
I’m grateful to confirm that Becky lives that promise and that I have been one of the beneficiaries.
Whether you know Becky or not, her book can help reach out in ways that make a difference. You can order it here.
Wife of one, Mom of two, Friend of many. My pronouns are she/her/hers.
Jane Anderson says
As someone who also knows and appreciates Becky, I can see her in every example you shared. It’s exciting to see that her book is here and even more, that readers can benefit right away if they start showing up (repeat).
Paula Kiger says
I agree with you, Jane and of course it’s wonderful to hear from you!
Carol Cassara (@ccassara) says
The Villages is a place unto itself. Just saying….
Paula Kiger (Big Green Pen) says
Yes, it is. That was my first (and only so far) visit there. Very interesting.
Diane Tolley says
Learn. Then teach. Becky has this down!
Paula Kiger (Big Green Pen) says
For sure! Thanks for chiming in.