Reconnecting after 53 years! People who know me best know that I am passionate about connecting with people. Recently, my 90 year old Mother gave me something I deeply treasure. It is a document I wrote back in 1973 where, at the age of 23, I had written “my autobiography.” In that document, I came across several references to my best childhood friend – Paul Phinney. We grew up together in the 50’s on the streets of Burbank, California. When I was 10, my folks came home with some shocking news that we were moving to Big Sky Country – the great state of Montana. Looking back, I remember looking forward to the Montana adventure but I knew I would miss all of my good Burbank friends – especially Paul.
In any event, a month ago I got to thinking about Paul and all of the good times we had. We were last together in October of 1960- the day I left the schoolyard for the last time. On a bit of a whim, I searched under the name “Paul Phinney” on LinkedIn. Hey – there are a quarter of a Billion people there and thought I might have a chance to find Paul. Luckily, I found a “Paul Phinney” who was a physician living in Northern California. I sent this Dr. Phinney a request to connect with me on LinkedIn and at the same time included a personal message telling him who I was and asking him if he grew up in Burbank, California.
Bingo. I had a match.
Paul and I have started a vigorous email exchange catching up on the last 53 years. What was really exciting was to learn of Paul’s amazing career in the medical field. As a Pediatric Physician, Paul has now risen to the top of his profession and is the recent past President of the California Medical Association representing over 38,000 doctors in California.
Reid Hoffman, Founder of LinkedIn once said: “Your network is the people who want to help you, and you want to help them, and that’s really powerful.”
I am so happy that I have reconnected with Paul and made him part of my network of connected people. It’s my personal belief that those who fail to use Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+ and other social enterprises for the building or reestablishing of deep, long-term relationships are losing out on the deepest values those networks have to offer.