By Gino Blefari
This week my travels find me in Hawaii, attending a wedding and recharging.
Today I’m writing this post to you as I look out my hotel window at the wind-churned Pacific Ocean, and the waves meeting the sand reminds me about the value of meeting people face to face – our Thoughts on Leadership topic for today.Read more: Thoughts on Leadership: The Value of Meeting
In-person meetings serve so many purposes. They:
- Strengthen connections
- Allow you to learn information as it’s being delivered live
- Provide opportunities to spend time with your peers
- … and so much more.
It’s why we put on the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Sales Convention each year. It’s why we organize the HomeServices Stronger Together conference annually. It’s why at industry events you’ll always find the top-of-the-top because they understand the importance of meeting for their personal and professional growth.
Steve Jobs, whose iPad, iPod, iPhone and iEverything provided the foundation for today’s hyper-digital connectivity, once said: “There’s a temptation in our networked age to think that ideas can be developed by email and iChat. That’s crazy. Creativity comes from spontaneous meetings, from random discussions.”
This concept actually reminds me of our daily accountability calls – many times in talking to my accountability partner toward the end of the conversation is when the ideas truly get spurred.
In person, you are privy to side conversations and comments, body language and real time feedback that creates an environment ripe for idea-generation.
How many times have you been at a conference and, while grabbing a quick coffee, bumped into someone you haven’t seen in years? You chat, you exchange contact information, and that person delivers a random nugget of knowledge that then helps you in your next deal, or casually mentions a referral they’d like to send your way … business is not only about structure and systems, but also about spontaneity and serendipity working together to create the alchemy of success.
Another benefit of in-person meetings is the sheer energy in the room. It makes you feel part of something larger than yourself. As we said many, many times during our HomeServices annual top-performer’s event: You are amazing when you’re apart, but WE are STRONGER TOGETHER.
Legendary football coach Vince Lombardi once said: “Individual commitment to a group effort: That is what makes a team work, a society work, a civilization work.” And my mentor Jim Rohn said: “You’re the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”
Put these two concepts together and you can see why spending time with tens or hundreds of like-minded individuals will perpetuate the kind of continual improvement necessary for high achievement.
Further, when you’re in person, you can exhibit all the positive signs of someone willing and ready to connect. You can be friendly, maintain eye contact and project an optimistic self-image. Don’t forget to smile! Smiling is free and helps form an instant connection. While smiling sends a clear message about your upbeat state of mind, not smiling can be interpreted negatively as grumpiness, aloofness, or anger. And nobody wants to do business with a grump … or given the upcoming holiday season … a grinch!
So, what’s the message? Remember: Ideas flow where people go, and learning from others’ experience, skill and expertise is what growing together is all about.