My Serendipitous Friendship with Jon

Bumping into Jon serendipitously at an event in early 2019.

An Intimate Gathering in 2017

In April 2017, I made my way across Sandy Springs in Atlanta to a house nearby the JCC (Jewish Community Center). It was an area of town I was more than a little familiar with; I’d grown up around there, my grandparents lived there, I’d gone to school around there, and holiday dinners were spent quite literally in the neighborhood. But it wasn’t a holiday get-together I was attending that afternoon — it was a small, intimate meeting with then-Congressional candidate Jon Ossoff.

The Out-of-the-Blue Email in 2018

One of the big questions thereafter was what Jon would do. Would he run for GA06 again? No — he came out as a vocal supporter of now-Congresswoman Lucy McBath. Would he run for Governor? No — he left that to Stacey Abrams and I think everyone would agree that was the right decision to make. Abrams has fundamentally changed the Georgia political landscape in ways previously unseen certainly in my lifetime. Jon seemed to step back from the spotlight a little at this time, focusing I would assume on more personal life events and future plans.

The unexpected email I received from Jon in 2018.

How Relationships Grow Through Long-Term Discourse

One of the key things I’ve learned through becoming an expert relationship-building and networking consultant is that it’s the substance that matters, not the time. So it doesn’t matter that our catch-up call was 15 minutes instead of two hours — and it didn’t matter that we don’t speak daily. One of the biggest misconceptions about great relationship-building is that you need to be in someone’s face 24/7 to see any long-term benefit. This is incorrect.

Serendipitous Meeting in 2019 and Senate Candidacy

I would bump into Jon again in April of 2019 — almost two years exactly since we first met — down at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Center in Atlanta at another event. We stood again and spoke a bit about the developing political landscape in Georgia and I asked if he might run again. He demurred a little and returned our conversation to the current event, but I thought I saw a slight glimmer in his eye.

Congratulating Jon in late 2019 at his official Senate campaign kickoff.

2020 and Looking Forward

The friendship I’ve developed with Jon over the last few years has been unique because it must appear from the outside as arms-length, but on the inside feels — and is, I believe — much more genuine. Like I said before, you don’t need to spend hours on the phone with someone to develop a truly positive and authentic relationship. There just needs to be a mutual desire to pick up each other’s call or answer each other’s email and a mutual recognition of value. Mutual — that’s always the keyword. It’s what I tell my networking clients and associates.

Master Relationship Builder & Networking Consultant 🚀 | prev. CEO @glipple | Published @crunchbasenews, @Startup Grind, @Mattermark| Humorist & music addict