So, my e-mailer of last week accepted my challenge, writing back….
I love a challenge, and it seems that I have already won a small victory for invoking a response in the first place.
To be specific, I have questions about your experiences and personal steps that have brought you to lead the 225 employees, 9000 students, and many other layers under you. Sure, I could be directed to someone else that could answer those questions, but it wouldn’t be an adequate option as they aren’t in your position to accurately answer these questions. I am drawn to leaders and their experience that brought them there, because those experiences and thoughts are references I can use to be in your position; Leading. What I can offer you is some lunch, and the knowledge that one of your students doesn’t plan on being just another graduate from your college, which is why you’re here. My response to your statement of my immediate concern is: my concern lies in the future, yet will be affected by your immediate response. I look forward to seeing you soon.
Persistence pays. I have 30 minutes, 9 am Friday in my office. Come with specific questions and I’ll try to answer them. The more interesting the questions, the better.
In some ways my writer got a little lucky. I had an opening on my schedule and the writer could meet on my terms (something usually necessary when getting a meeting with someone in a position like mine). That said, this student created their own opportunity and took advantage of it: It was a good meeting: focused, to the point and, as promised, about the future. Impressive.