Mark Chamberlain, CEO of Lakeside Wealth Management held a special presentation for a collection of young leaders from within Porter County. Taking place at their Chesterton headquarters, it was here that Chamberlain was able to discuss the principals that he teaches to those under his wing, with many of them coming from the book never eat alone by Keith Ferrazzi and Tahl Raz.
"After reading this and several other books, I've come to discover three concepts that I wish to share with you today. I like to tell stories and hopefully, the stories I tell connect with the philosophies found in this book," said Chamberlain.
Chamberlain's three key insights from the book closely tie with one another with the three concepts being: 1. Relationships matter more than transactions, 2. Connecting is a basic human need and 3. We underestimate our power to do good.
The first concept dealt with relationships and, just how important they are to both the business world and everyday life.
"Relationships are all there is, everything in the universe is connected because of its relationship with everything else, nothing exists in isolation and we have to stop pretending that we are individuals who are alone," said Chamberlain.
Chamberlain whose previous experience working as a Chicago trader, allowed him to gain a multitude of success and connections but in the end, left him feeling like a certain element was missing from his life.
"It was a very kill or be killed environment," said Chamberlain. "It was a place where there was not much value in relationships and that developed the mindset I grew up with. Once I left I felt that something was missing in my life. I knew a lot of people but I didn't have a lot of relationships, not many people I could call or those I could call my best friends."
'There's a difference between being a hunter who kills and consumes and one who is a farmer who plants seeds. This was a lot like relationships. I used and consumed them and moved on," said Chamberlain. "As a farmer, you have to grow and nurture your crops and tend to them every year. That is the way to grow relationships. Once you take care of them once, the crops keep coming back every year and as long as you keep tending to them, it will keep nourishing you."
The second insight of connections came from Chamberlain's observations of talking and connecting with individuals. Chamberlain credited the past days of tribes and a system of trust.
"Its a very natural thing for us to feel a connection and a sense of community among one another and a sense of trust," said Chamberlain. "It's building these connections that allow us to better understand and in the end, better serve one another."
Chamberlain did warn however that the use of electronic communication does not substitute for communication but rather something more harmful.
"Sending texts and social media is not connection," said Chamberlain. "It's efficient, but it's never going to get into the deep fiber of someone to find something meaningful. We think we are connecting, but we're not, we're addicted and it's not the same thing. People want to talk to you, they want to connect with you, it's a basic human need."
The third insight of underestimating the power to do good is a simple and easy mistake many individuals make. Chamberlain felt doing good to someone else is the simplest of the three and often only takes seconds of someone's time.
"People want to connect and we underestimate our part to do good and influence people. One of my favorite quotes says that 'Value of life is always measured by how much is given away'," said Chamberlain. "When people show up at my funeral, they won't show up because of the car I drove or anything superfluous, they'll show up because they'll be some connection to me because I did some good in their life because I had a relationship with them."
Once the presentation ended, many of the young attendees took away inspiring and positive messages from Chamberlain's speech.
"I took a lot away from this presentation said local Valparaiso businessman JJ Peller. "Relationships are very important in life and I look up to Mark and Tim Rice for building fantastic relationships in the community."
"It was great to see that it only takes a really small act to make a huge difference in day to day life of someone else," said Valparaiso businessman Eric Zosso. "It's is extremely easy to help people."
"You can't be motivated to help someone just to get something," said Chamberlain. If you do help people, you do get something. It feels appropriate to end with one of my favorite lines of poetry by Maya Angelou. She once said that 'At the end of the day people won't remember what you say. People won't remember what you do, but they will always remember how you made them feel'."