The Drift

The Drift

How We Show Up.

We tentatively emerge from two years of inconsistent isolation only to feel the gravitational pull of the economy. Ironically, even as much of the world was down and out, our sales numbers and performance were up and to the right. Now with the sun out, many of us are watching the last days of a rough second quarter tick away. Is that a recession ahead? Are we truly back? And what does that look like anyway? Anxiety is both by-product and fuel source for uncertainty, and right now uncertainty abounds.

Fortunately, there’s one set of decisions that we absolutely control. Leaning into these decisions won’t necessarily change the numbers or the circumstances, but they will change the narrative from one of anxiety and randomness to a story of perseverance, growth and personal victory. They may not change your Q3 number, but they will change you.

We all get to decide how we show up. Every call, every interaction, every day. I’ve chosen to start out this week, this day, by showing up and trying to say and do something useful and productive for the readers of The Drift (who, by the way, I haven’t done enough for this year).  How will you show up tomorrow?

Show Up Curious. Don’t settle for good questions. We all control how much we really want to know about how our customers’ businesses work, the nuances of their competition and more. Genuinely curious people are magnetic. We can all decide right now to commit to real learning and understanding.

Show Up Prepared. Not just for customer meetings, and not just with your story laid out. Real preparation is about critical thinking, about anticipation. Preparation in business is like defense in basketball: it’s really all about desire and dedication – no exceptional talent required.

Show Up in Service to Others. Diagnose and think things through. Why does this customer truly need our help?  What gap genuinely needs to be filled? What can we really do to help complete this customer’s plan, to genuinely make it better? And don’t stop with your customers. Show up in service to the people around you: pick up the slack for a coworker, spend a little extra time and patience in explanation and mentoring. It’s what you give away that makes you richer.

Show Up with Empathy. Behind every pair of eyes is a unique story, a different struggle. Take a beat. Consider that something may be weighing on the other person, even if you’ll never know what it is. You’ll create the space of humanity for real collaboration and sharing.

Show Up with Joy. Don’t buy the excuse that Zoom is a flawed experience. That’s a decision. We choose to make – or not make – every interaction more human and joyful, whether it’s on a screen, on a walk or over a desktop. Have some fun. Be a good host. Make it special for the other person.

You may righteously ask, what does all this have to do with business over the next few weeks? Isn’t it all advice about how to live your life?

My point exactly.


More Posts

Free Trade, Nationalism and Empire

The more I get to know about the web, the more it looks like the world. Take for instance the attitudes of media owners, ad networks and enabling technologies, which in the end starts to sound an awful…


Stop Worshiping at the Altar of Advertising

When I started in the advertising business 29 years ago, my boss at the agency (yes, I worked at an ad agency) sent me to ride on the back of a beer truck and deliver kegs to restaurants for our client…


The Vast Luddite Conspiracy Theory

I've long been in favor of the IAB taking a more muscular and vocal position in the online privacy debate. Given the blink-of-an-eye in which Congress gave life to the National Do Not Call Registry ("...Telesales…


The Oldest Rookie

Today marks the soft launch of the web's oldest brand new blog, The Drift. I've written and published The Drift since March 2001 as an e-mail newsletter, and have now recreated it as an influential and…


The Flea in the Jar

The common flea is apparently quite a jumper. The little guys travel by leaping from one surface or host to another, often reaching pretty significant heights. That is, until they are confined to a…


The Peacock Principle

Picture a rather odd and cumbersome looking bird demurely dragging a mottled clump of tail feather through the dust as it crosses your path. This metaphorical bird represents the present and future…


Double Stuff: Two Years of the Oreo Doctrine

Two years ago I gave speeches at CIMA and iMedia events on something I called "The Oreo Doctrine," a model for understanding the distinctions and divisions in the world of online advertising and marketing.…


Social ROI

Maybe I'm late to the game, but I've been fact-finding and mulling over many questions related to social media and social networking over the past weeks. I've also followed the truly silly media debates…


Profiling the New Seller: Continued

Picking up on the theme from the March 13th edition of The Drift, I continue here in "Profiling the New Seller;" that is, describing the very new skill sets and orientations of tomorrow's digital and…


Garfield, Armageddon and Dead Ideas

This week's Drift was to have been part three of our series on "Fusion Selling" but that will have to wait. I mean, the world doesn't implode every week, ya know? Turns out Bob Garfield, the information…


Fusion Selling Part 2: Profiling the New Seller

Last week I wrote about "Fusion Selling" - a fresh approach to digital sales that can make order and opportunity out of the depth and chaos that is today's digital media toolbox. Today I'll continue…


Fusion Selling

A good friend asked me yesterday what I thought the next big thing in web advertising would be. I had one of those moments where you just start speaking to the question at the same time you're thinking…