I interviewed Bob Poznanovich, Executive Director of Business Development at Hazelden, for a Minnesota business magazine article titled “Full Circle.” Bob’s story is a perfect illustration of the adage, “What goes around comes around.” In other words . . . a full circle.
Androcles, the Roman slave who removed a thorn from a lion’s paw, was later spared from death when the lion recognized him in front of a bloodthirsty crowd in the Coliseum. If Androcles had been a Twin Cities business leader, a seemingly isolated incident early in his career would undoubtedly have led to his company capturing the lion’s share of the market years later.
These three stories from Twin Cities businesspeople illustrate the inscrutable relationship between connection and coincidence. Call it karma, reaping what you sow or what goes around comes around; inexorably, like a circle completing itself, scales are balanced and debts repaid.
BOB POZNANOVICH’S STORY
I was the first kid from my family to go to college. I had grown up in a ghetto-like neighborhood in Chicago without a father in the house or any good male role models. I literally didn’t know how to behave in college. Hanging out with decent, successful people as opposed to hanging out with neighborhood guys on street corners was all new to me.
Jerry was a member of the fraternity I joined. He was two years older than me and was well known, well liked and well connected. He was a member of the student senate, active in other university organizations and very much a leader on campus.
For whatever reason, Jerry saw potential in me and became a mentor and friend. He helped me fit in by showing me how to get involved in the student senate and other campus events and activities. With his help, I started to develop on a personal level and discover my own leadership capabilities. The year I graduated, the faculty and staff selected me as Greek Man of the Year within the fraternity community. As a result of Jerry’s efforts, I (more…)