I think this story demonstrates the big difference between just making contacts versus sharing real knowledge with powerful personal connections. We should all aspire to make as significant a difference for others as Paul Revere did.

June 2004

A Relationship Story – What’s So Special About Paul Revere?

Paul Revere’s ride is one of those compelling legends that fascinated us all when we were growing up. But did you ever wonder how one guy could manage to alert the people in town after town and convince them to prepare for something as frightening as taking up arms, and to do it in only one night and all without a cellphone or the internet?

And why is Paul Revere such a legend, while his riding partner Thomas Dawes is little more than a trivia quiz answer?

The answer is not because Revere had a better Public Relations firm. The secret lies in his unique commitment to
the New England community and to his network of relationships, along with his ability to recognize who the other influential connectors were in all the communities around Boston. He was, after all, a member and leader in more community groups than anyone else. Equally important was his personal commitment to gathering information and knowledge about the British and their movements, and his leadership in actively sharing this critical knowledge with everyone in the region. As a result, Paul Revere was not only connected with many other connectors, he was also considered a highly credible source of information by everyone.

On the contrary, while Dawes was also knowledgeable and involved, he tended to stay close to home in Boston proper. So when they both went on their fateful ride, Thomas Dawes told whomever he saw and hoped they would share the news. Paul Revere knew who to tell to get the news spread, and they knew they could trust him.
McDermott & Bull strives to be a trusted resource for all our friends in the market, and not only to serve your needs for retained executive search. In our firm, we all try to be well connected and knowledgeable about the providers of services of all kinds, and we are also always looking to connect our corporate friends and their products to each other. Please feel free to ask me if you are ever in need of the best in business services, and not only related to the services I provide. I will gladly connect you with people you can trust to help your business in most any area.

A Book Idea For You: The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell – The key elements required for an idea to “tip” and become the next big thing…how little things can make a big difference. The “Paul Revere effect” represents one of these keys. Let me know what you think.


Jeff Black
Principal Consultant
McDermott & Bull Executive Search