Rands shares a good piece of advice for how to get value out of all interactions. At the base of his advice is that, although not all interactions with all people will benefit you directly, it’s still worth your time to make investments in others.
He summarizes his advice this way:
Life isn’t short. It’s finite. As a leader with a finite set of minutes, it is your job to find the stories. They will teach you.
He’s describing that idea that although he is not hiring for a position, it can still be a good investment to talk to someone outside of your area of expertise. You cannot always see them at the time, but our small world brings a myriad of related connections. The different teams, departments, companies, and the humans that comprise them: it so often comes down to who you know.
But if you read the post, you may see another other benefit here. There’s value here for Cathy (the person he’s meeting with). In asking her some pointed questions, she gets the benefit of telling her story, of being validated herself.
Sometimes we all just need someone to listen to us.
I’m guessing “Cathy” remembers Michael Lopp because he gave of his time, showed genuine interest, and was a good listener. We all benefit from people like that. So when you cannot see the direct benefit and you're tight for time (because we’re all tight for time), Rands reminds us of the indirect benefits and how to best achieve them.