Robert-photo-w-icon-150-4-7-10-FINAL4-150x150Doing more than expected is time-consuming and expensive. Sustaining this level of effort is difficult. There’s always a shortcut available – why not take it?

Creating value frequently involves this choice. Which path would you choose?

Our world of connectivity provides access to reams of information and promotes instant gratification. Many folks are so addicted to their smart devices that it’s hard to have a cogent conversation with them…the phone rings and their focus is disrupted.

During a recent workshop, one young man couldn’t seem to separate from his phone. Despite my best efforts to get him involved in our work, he kept being lured away to his phone. Even when I called him out and requested his full attention for a short time, he could not muster the self-control to put the phone in his pocket for a while.  At the end of the session, when everyone was asked to describe the biggest constraint to their efforts, he replied, “I just can’t get anyone to engage with me.”

Isn’t this the typical story of our times? We need our technology to compete but its ready access causes distraction, disrespect and delay. The abundancy of available information presents an illusion of value when in reality, creating sustainable value requires a commitment supported over time. In a world where so much is readily available, the only truly valuable things are those that are scarce. The easy things have already been done. Choosing to pursue the challenging and time-consuming path is how you create genuine, sustainable value.

Contacts are easily made using the net and smart devices, but building relationships takes time and perseverance. Trust, the foundation of relationships, is difficult to earn. There is no short cut. Trust is created through generosity and active engagement with a customer. Investing time to learn about your customer’s business and then sharing an idea that could be helpful, without expecting anything in return, is generous. Putting your device in your pocket, and not touching it, so you can give your full attention to your customer demonstrates caring and respect. Providing a post-meeting summary to your customer communicates reliability. Always doing more than expected reveals your commitment to your customer’s success…you win when they win.

Creating sustainable value is a challenge best pursued by those who choose the difficult path because they realize that it leads to enduring relationships.

How often do you choose the more difficult option?

When was the last time you recall that an enduring relationship was born from a shortcut?



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