“Do not try to become a person of success, but try to become a person of value,” Albert Einstein famously said.

I thought of this quote as I was chatting with Aubrey Bent, the 14th person I’ve met as part of my journey to have lunch with 500 strangers.

Aubrey has definitely achieved success in his career as an IT manager, but he’s done so not by chasing glory but by becoming a person of value.

When people come to him with a problem, he loves to help. If he doesn’t know the answer, he makes a point of finding it. So he’s developed a reputation for being helpful and knowledgeable.

Aubrey calls it a win-win-win arrangement. His colleagues benefit from solving problems faster. His employer benefits from the productivity gains. And he benefits from building his network.

Another way Aubrey builds relationships is by making a point of sitting next to someone different every day – which you can do when you work in an office that practises hotdesking and has 3,500 staff. He smiles, introduces himself, and thus his network expands.

Aubrey supports five charities and plans to throw himself into not-for-profit causes once he retires.

He’s definitely a man of value.