With One Look

In the August issue of Esquire (not yet online), Chris Rock credits Eddie Murphy for telling others that "This guy's (Rock) kind of funny."  Rock goes on to describe the value of what Murphy said:  "That definitely made people give me that first look.  You need that first look."

The first look.  The foot in the door. The opportunity to shine.  People have always benefited from others' help in getting noticed, but it may be even more critical now since we live in the era of Chris Anderson's The Long Tail, a time which supports micro markets for a myriad of products, services, celebrities, and much more.

So, a few questions worth considering for you and your organization:
  • Who in your community deserves to be noticed and given a first look, but you've been too busy to pay attention?
  • How can your organization consistently give first looks to worthy contenders?
  • How are you listening to and learning from others about those they've given a first look to that might merit your attention?
  • What are you doing that is worth a first look and who might you turn to for help in getting it noticed?
  • How are you contributing to your profession/community in ways that could generate first looks (writing articles, blogging, commenting on blogs, presenting at conferences, supporting others' efforts, etc.)?
  • If given a first look, are you prepared to make the most of it?
  • If you get more than your share of looks (first, second, or otherwise) how are you using your visibility to get others noticed and on what stages might you take a break from the limelight to create space for others?
Giving others the first look can help advance fresh perspectives, but when doing so, don't forget veteran members, customers, or volunteers.   While you may have given them their due in the past, they may very well be involved in new ventures that merit their own first look.