“The Necessity of Strangers”–The Movie (Trailer That Is)!

Greetings. Many readers of this blog have been asking if there would ever be a video “trailer” for “The Necessity of Strangers.” After all, movies have trailers. Important ideas and causes have trailers. Many other books have trailers. And sometimes cars and pickup trucks come with trailers. So it seems like a totally smart and logical idea.

So here it is…a simple, upbeat, sophisticated, and hopefully compelling trailer designed and produced by our daughter Sara in her very limited free time and out of the goodness of her considerably kind heart.

Let me know what you think and, if you like it, please share it with your friends and contacts on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and anywhere else they hang out. That way we can create a cultural landslide of interest in “The Necessity of Strangers.”



The Most Important Strangers

Greetings. For some “strange” reason I’ve become preoccupied with the value of strangers in our work and personal lives. It might have something to do with my new book, but even more likely is the fact that strangers have played such an important role in my life. Strangers who helped to nurture my love of learning. Strangers who suggested that the world was filled with limitless possibilities. Strangers who saw my potential at moments when I was a bit uncertain. Strangers who took a chance on my brand new business twenty-five years ago. A very special stranger who used his remarkable skill and even greater humanity almost twenty years ago to rebuild a defect in my heart that threatened my life. And the kindest stranger I ever met, who fortunately became my wife. Don’t get me wrong, families and friends mean the world to me. But I have also been blessed to have several important strangers cross my path at exactly the right time…people I humbly acknowledge at the beginning of “The Necessity of Strangers.”

As a result, I am always interested in learning about connections that people have made with strangers that have changed their lives for the better. So in today’s post I’d like to ask a very simple question in the hope that some of you will share your own stories, and that together we can create a movement to make our organizations, communities, and the rest of our lives more open to strangers and people who are very different than us.

So here it is:

What strangers have made an important difference in your life?

It’s not a question most of us think about very often, but I’m betting that most of you will be surprised by your answer and more likely to appreciate the powerful role that strangers could have in your future success.

And maybe I can use another post to share some of your most compelling and meaningful experiences with other readers…while assuring your confidentiality.

We win in business and in life when we are open to new people and new ideas. It’s how we learn, grow, and create greater meaning and value.


Best Book Since War and Peace? You Decide

Greetings. I am delighted to let everyone know that my new book “The Necessity of Strangers” is now available at Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble, the iTunes store, or any place else where thoughtful books are sold. The book is all about a very simple, powerful, and counterintuitive idea…that strangers are more important than we ever realized and that connecting with, and learning from, people who are very different than us is the real key to greater personal and business success. And “The Necessity of Strangers” is guaranteed to provide clear, inspiring, and practical guidance on how to find the right strangers and how to get the most out of your career, business, or anything else worth doing.

I would be delighted and honored if you purchased a copy, read every single word, and then let me know what you liked most about the book and what I could do to make the next edition even better. I’d even be delighted and honored if you read almost every word and shared some of your thoughts. Then, if you found the book to be valuable, it would be totally awesome if you could tell all of your closest friends, Facebook friends, relatives (especially the ones you are on good terms with), neighbors, the other parents on your kids’ teams, work colleagues, LinkedIn contacts, Twitter followers, and even total and partial strangers. After all, in this day and age, you are the most important ingredient in the success of any book.

And in the days ahead I will be offering some really cool prizes to everyone who is willing to read the book enthusiastically in an area of high visibility!

But for now, I simply wanted to let you know that you can purchase and hopefully enjoy “The Necessity of Strangers” as a physical book, an electronic book, and soon as an audio book from your favorite brick and mortar or online bookseller. And here is a quick link to the book’s page on Amazon.com where you can find lots of additional information including testimonials and answers to some of your most pressing questions about the book and strangers…


Better than “War and Peace”? You decide.

Better than a yard full of tennis balls. Absolutely!

Vincent Necessity No. 2

Giant thanks in advance and please don’t hesitate to share this blog post with everyone you know.


The Necessity of Strangers

Greetings. On a beautiful fall morning in 2006, a walk to the school bus with our daughter Carly, who was nine at the time, would challenge my thinking about life and the real keys to personal and business success. It was a walk that my wife and I made almost every school day, but on this particular morning, Carly and I would pass someone we’d never seen in our neighborhood before…a middle-aged gentleman who looked more than slightly disheveled, somewhat distraught, and, from my overly protective parental perspective, potentially dangerous. So once we were out of listening distance, I turned to Carly and said: “You know sweetheart, Mamma and Papa won’t always be able to walk you to the school bus. So we’d like you to promise us that when you are walking by yourself you won’t talk to strangers.” It seemed like an important and necessary thing to say, especially at that moment. And it was something my parents had told me when I was Carly’s age at a time when the world was a whole lot safer.

Yet I could never have imagined her response as she looked up at me and said: “But Papa, if I don’t talk to strangers, how will I ever make new friends? And how will I ever learn new things?”

Her simple words would quickly challenge me to recall all of the “strangers” who had changed my life in some meaningful way.

Kid's Photo

Sara, Carly (w/ the trombone), and Noah on a fall day.

And they would also spark the idea for my new book, “The Necessity of Strangers,” which should be available wherever thoughtful books are sold by the beginning of next week. The book begins by sharing the special magic of some of the most important strangers I have ever met and then asks readers to think about the most important strangers in their own lives and the powerful roles that strangers might play in our future success by:

  • Sparking new conversations and new ways of thinking
  • Inspiring new possibilities
  • Given us fresh and honest input
  • Opening new doors, and
  • Helping each of us to discover and unlock more of our unique potential.


In the weeks ahead I’d love to use the book to start a conversation with all of you about the necessity of strangers and I’d also love learn some of your stories about strangers who have made a difference in your lives. And I’ll plan to share lots of ideas and practical tools to help you and your companies and organizations to connect with and learn from the right strangers.

We win in business and in life when we get past our aversion to strangers. And when we come to realize that strangers are more vital to our personal and professional success than we ever imagined.


The Power of the Unexpected

Greetings. We often think about libraries as very quiet places for contemplation, exploration, discovering new ideas and new possibilities, and sparking our true imaginations. But what if we also think of them as places where loud and dramatic learning comes alive as it literally jumps out of the pages of a new or classic book?

Such was the case at the Parkway Central Library in Philadelphia this past Saturday when the DancePhiladelphia Argentine Tango group led a series of “pop-up” performances throughout the library tied to the publication of Carolyn Merritt’s book Tango Nuevo. And in the process a building filled with people of all ages and backgrounds received a wonderful lesson in the magic and passion of the tango (a dance that had its origins in mid-19th century working-class neighborhoods in Buenos Aires)…and a wonderful reminder of the joy of learning and the power of the unexpected.

All of which suggests two very simple questions:

1. “How well do we make learning come alive in our companies and organizations?”


2. “How do we make our most important written documents (i.e., our visions, strategies, and even websites and blogs) as passionate and engaging as a tango?”

Because if we can’t figure out how to bring learning and purpose to life for our employees and customers, we will never get them to lift their heads, really take notice, and achieve the level of commitment and collaboration needed to do remarkable things.


We win in business and in life when we make learning come alive. And when we realize that we all have the potential to dance with great energy and purpose.