We have made it pretty easy to hide behind the screen at work.
E-mail, text, instant message and social media. We have dashboards. Metrics. Our reporting produces more ROI analysis to validate our value. We automated it and measured it. We can prove it improved and somebody at some conference said this was the language the C suite understood.
You can’t automate relationships. Not real relationships. Not the kind that really matter. Not the kind the future of your business is depending on. Deeper, more meaningful relationships. Relationships with people who care. Relationships with people who know you care. Employees. Customers. Stakeholders. Ambassadors. Contributors. Evangelists.
I blog, tweet, facebook, comment, connect and care about my online community. I also recognize the tools and technology are merely the access points. Acceleration vehicles. Of course they matter. Of course they expand reach and extend influence. Of course they help me listen and learn.
They aren’t replacements. Not for real, meaningful, authentic, genuine relationships. Those take work.
It is exactly the kind of work that is worth it.
If you are in Sales or Recruiting pick up the phone today. Set an appointment for the coffee shop. Grab a beer. Send a handwritten note. Drop a line. Thank a customer or candidate. Have a connected, compelling conversation.
I think you’ll quickly recognize an outrageous opportunity for competitive advantage.