In the art of leadership, one of the most simple, yet dynamic talents is the hardy conversations with your clients or prospects. Yet, unfortunately, few people make the ability to capitalize on this genius. For example, let’s get some coffee, shall we…
The Big Peach
In the northwest corner of Atlanta, (AKA the Big Peach,) is a suburb called Marietta. A metropolis and then some, in the middle of the downtown, lay Marietta Square, where all the activity lives and plays.
Now, on the west side of the Square, on two incredibly busy intersections on the corner, there used to be a Krystal a long time ago. Vacant for years, several months ago, Starbucks Coffee bought the location. They spiffed it up and, presto, it is a thriving business once again.
And that is how I arrived, waiting for another gentleman to shoot the breeze for an hour or two; coffee and terrific conversation.
Struck and Isolation
As I was marking time, I examined most of the patrons around the popular joint and I was struck by all of the technology and social media. More than that, the isolation of the people around them was palpable.
Likewise, listening to their headphones and absorbed in their little screen on their device, they didn’t really talk to anyone. In fact, they didn’t really speak at all, (which was sort of frightening in some senses.)
With soothing yet blaring music all around me, I looked hard at the individuals and realized that they were just a mishmash of society. Men and women. Millennials and Silent Generations. Business attire and t-shirts.
But all engrossed in their little worlds of the World Wide Web so diligently with few leadership abilities among them. With wires and plugs aplenty all over, the real power of conversation and decision-making was blind.
Ingenuity of Expression
Eventually, my friend arrived shortly after. We talked about not only politics, but also healthcare, real estate, travel, sports, and, to be honest, social media as well, but we talked.
You know, no
- Facebook picture or
- Twitter tweet or
- video on YouTube
The ingenuity of expression; spirited and fresh.
Strong Conversation, By Golly
It reminded me when I visited Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia. A wonderful trip, the “characters” of the town were all ablaze and clothed of the 18th century. They would work, eat, play and live like they did so long ago in another era. In fact, there was a blacksmith, a printer, a wigmaker and others of honest labor and scruples.
And they talked. Honest, meaty, dignified discussions about their community and both national and international arenas.
With no cellular phones, text messaging or any other type of the technological innovation around, they proclaimed with stirring words and a strong conversation, by golly.
Produce the Fire by Leadership
So, next time you are busy and stressed out at work with meetings, meetings, and more meetings, just remember:
- close your tablet
- power down your smartphone
- unplug your brain and
speak and engage with your colleagues or prospects. Truly, words, powerful words, will mesh so tightly your noggin with passion.
To summarize, a social media is the gaze of the world, nothing more. Only you can produce the fire by leadership each and every time.