It was our first ever TEDx event in Greenville, and the atmosphere there at the CU-ICAR theatre was electric. What Maxim proceeded to share was a unique perspective on a number of intertwined and complex social issues that our community, and our country as a whole, is struggling with.
It was a powerful talk. With his qualifications in psychology and years of experience in positions where building relationships was as crucial as a cowboy knowing how to ride a horse, Maxim walked the audience through his convictions. You need to understand people and build relationships with them, feel their frustrations, show them that you understand your differences before you can begin to help.
In other words, doing unto others as you would have them do unto you means nothing if you don’t understand and have a relationship with those ‘others.’
When Maxim arrived in Greenville, he hit us like a blazing comet. He impacted many lives, and he achieved a great deal in his time here, both in his role as Healthy Community Leader at St. Francis, and in his many leadership roles in organizations throughout the community. He was here for a short while, but he moved lots of things in a positive direction. His presence will be missed.
So, where is he now? He up and went to work for that fruit company out in Cupertino. Yes, Apple. And, the story is serendipitous. As he tells it, a friend in Canada (ahem, I think his passport has a maple leaf on it) called him one week mentioning an opening at Apple that sounded interesting, and by that Friday he had updated his resume and sent it in. By Monday the next week he had an interview, and within a few weeks he was working for one of the hottest companies on the planet!
As you would expect, he’s not doing an ordinary job. No, Maxim is once again blazing a trail. He was hired into a team responsible for putting together a leadership development program for their global retail group. In his words, “It’s about creating systems from chaos, something I have lots of experience with.” He still works using his skills of relating to others, building trust and developing empathy, but now on a global level with colleagues around the world instead of navigating the intricacies and historical context of our Greenville community.
It’s a different experience, for sure. He no longer works at the grassroots level, developing relationships with formal and informal leaders, working through labyrinthine healthcare systems, local governments and all the other ambiguities of his work building healthy communities in Greenville. But, that work prepared him well for his new environment where he has to, once again, build his credibility from scratch and develop new programs to help others be more successful in their lives.
Anyone who knows Maxim, or anyone who has watched his TEDxGreenville 2010 talk, should not be surprised to see him working for such an innovative company. And, no one should be surprised by anything this driven and compassionate man achieves in the years to come.
With this post, one in a series of past TEDxGreenville presenter updates, we hope to answer questions that we’ve asked a lot and have heard from many of you, So, they shared their idea/performance, what then? What have they been up to? Where are they now?
Marc Bolick is a co-founder of TEDxGreenville and served as curator for the first three years. He remains connected through his work on our Program and Planning teams.