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Edition 415 – A Moment Of Your Time

It’s 1986. The birthday clock had not long ticked over the number 18. I was in my first year of university at the New South Wales Institute of Technology, which was to morph into the University of Technology, Sydney, two years later.

In that first semester, in the drab, almost Soviet era looking edifice on Broadway, known as the Tower Building, Communications was one of the six subjects I was taking. It hadn’t all clicked into place yet why, when studying a Bachelor of Business degree, there were subjects like that and Psychology in the curriculum. As the years have passed, I more than understand.

One of the assignments for the course was to interview a couple of people for a particular aspect of communications. Being a fan-boy of radio back then, and thinking, in the back of a very busy mind that, maybe some day, a shot at radio might occur, I lined up two interviews. One was with a chap from Sydney’s then top rating news talk station 2GB. The other was with John Williams, then of 2UW. 

I rocked up to the Neutral Bay studios that 2UW (which morphed into Mix FM, then ultimately, KIIS FM) occupied and was greeted by John. We talked about a bunch of stuff to do with radio. Back then, 2UW had tried, and failed, to rebrand themselves as Magic 11, a couple of years prior. Yet, I distinctly remember in that conversation that John was adamant that, in the future, radio stations wouldn’t be known by their call sign, but by a name. Prophetic words, 38 years ago.

John spent well more than the allotted time with me, gave me the grand tour and, armed with my pile of notes, sent me on my way. He was more than gracious with his time and helped me to achieve an admirable result for my assignment.

Fast forward 36 years and a colleague suggests to me that a colleague of hers, who runs a bunch of radio stations, might need my help in terms of presenting to a conference of their advertising clients. They were looking for a new perspective. Email contact was established, and the first thought that popped into my head was, “gee, that name is familiar”. We teed up a time to chat and as soon as John spoke, that delicious, radio announcer’s voice came straight back to me. At the end of our conversation, I mention the experience of an 18 year old university student venturing into 2UW and he replied, “yep, that was me”.

In granting me a few moments of his time, John did more than impart some knowledge and answer a few questions. From my side of the fence, he went out of his way to help a young person on theirs. You come across a lot of people in a lifetime. Not a lot of them, that you meet for merely an hour, remain a memory, let alone make a difference. John did both.

Whether it’s a work experience student out of high school, or a new employee in their first ever job, what are you doing to help make a difference in their lives?

What’s the positive impact that you’re making on the young person that swallows the lump, knocks on the door and is looking to raise a few dollars for the sporting club they’re passionate about.

When you’re talking with the people that are serving your meal on a Saturday night, or whipping up your favourite coffee in the morning, are you taking a moment to enquire after them and what their plans are for life? Chances are, that same person might be your next physiotherapist, or developing ground breaking new software.

Your genuine enquiry, followed up with encouragement and support, might well go a long way in the future, for both of you. Indeed, it may even be memorable.

This Week’s Tip

“If a person comes into your life for a moment, what’s the impression they’re leaving with?”