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

Supply & Demand 2.0

"The Drift" has been on hiatus for the past few months. And now, with no particular logic or explanation, we're back. Let's just leave it at that, OK? Over the past year a profound shift has been taking…


The New ROI

There are two things we know about online advertising today. First, that it's once again growing at a very healthy clip: according to the recent IAB Revenue Report, the Q1 '04 total of $2.3 billion represents…


The New Ponytails

Looking back over 50 years of TV and film, the advertising agency business has served as a backdrop and focal point for comedy, drama and social satire. It's an oeuvre whose DNA chain links The Hucksters…


Bullseye?

Perhaps it's because the market's appetite has been whetted by the hyper-focused nature of Google advertising. Or maybe the web's marketing technology has finally caught up to its hype. But there's no…


A Little Rebellion

This fall I was honored to write the foreword for Carat Insight's "Moving Forward" quarterly report. I was asked to offer some perspective on the changing fortunes of our industry and of the medium we're…


Flash, Tell Me A Story!

I've been underwhelmed the last few years. Disgruntled one might say. Admittedly, I'm a cantankerous creative guy who is easily frustrated by the eternal quest for all that is new and exciting. Advertising…


Meetings That Really Matter

In the final installment in a series of "Drifts" devoted to sales strategy and tactics, we focus on the character and quality of client meetings. At birth we possess all the tools we need to be great salespeople. We…


The Inbox Imperative

As the Fall selling season continues, we offer the second in a series of three Drifts focusing on practical sales tactics and strategies. Without some serious changes, e-mail is over. You may be nodding…


Pointless

As the post-Labor Day selling season is upon us, we devote the next three editions of The Drift to practical sales tactics and strategies. I wouldn't call it a movement just yet, but there's a growing…


Summer Reading

"The future is already here - it's just unevenly distributed." ~ William Gibson Summertime, for me, always includes an annual rite of intellectual…


This Time Around

As I write this column, I'm in the Green Mountains of Vermont, a continent away from this week's @dTech conference, which I read is "abuzz with optimism" about the feisty comeback of the online advertising…


Epiphany!

"The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and over and over again, but expecting a different result. " ~ Albert Einstein At the recent iMedia Summit in Scottsdale, I helped moderate…