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Serve to Be Great: Leadership Lessons from a Prison, a Monastery, and a Boardroom by Matt Tenney

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Chapter 3Winning the War for Talent

The fall of 2012 was an incredibly exciting time for me. In October, I met the well-known author and speaker Simon Sinek at the annual Inc. 500 conference. Simon had been a hero of mine for years, so I would have been happy just to have a brief conversation with him. But, to my surprise and delight, we actually hit it off immediately and became friends. I met with him for lunch for nearly two hours, and he invited me to come to New York so that he could introduce me to some people that shared our vision of improving our world by helping businesses see the connection between serving people and the greater good and achieving high levels of success.

At the same conference, I also met Scott Harrison, the founder of charity: water,1 which is an amazing, highly innovative NPO that, as of this writing, has helped 3.3 million people in 20 developing countries gain access to clean drinking water. As Scott and I talked, I learned that he was very good friends with Simon. When I mentioned that Simon had invited me to New York, Scott suggested that I should come in December for charity: water's annual fundraising gala, called charity: ball, because Simon would be there and it would be a great opportunity for the three of us to get together.

The night of the gala, I arrived in New York City for the first time in my life. After settling in to my Manhattan hotel room, which was about the size of a walk-in closet, I headed out to charity: ball. That night, ...

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