Skills for Business: Showing Up


skills for business

I don’t care how advanced our internet and satellite technology gets. One of the most important skills for business will always be showing up. There will never be a replacement for reaching out and actually touching someone.

There’s an old story about Roger Maris that’s a great illustration of this.

As the story goes, Maris was recruited to play football at the University of Oklahoma, but when his train got to Norman, the assistant football coach who was supposed to greet him wasn’t there. Discouraged, Maris got on a train back home, and chose to play minor league baseball in Cleveland’s farm system instead.

The rest, as they say, is history: Maris went on to win 2 MVP awards for the Yankees, to set the season home run record in 1961, and to play on three World Series-winning ball clubs.

That assistant coach should have shown up. Oklahoma missed out on quite the athlete.

I wonder if we all don’t make that mistake too much nowadays.

True, we live In a world where texting, emails, tweeting, facebooking and teleconferencing are dominating. But we can’t forget that one of the most important skills for business and relationships is always going to be actually meeting people. There’s just no substitute for the in-person feeling you get from someone.

That is a human condition, and it’s not going to change no matter how good the machines get.

Make a list of the most important people in your life. And whom you most want to get to know.

When was the last time you actually met with them, in the flesh? When was the last time you broke bread with some of your key people, professional and personal?

There’s something about being in touch, but there’s something more to reaching out and being able to actually touch someone.

Call a key person right now and make a date with them.

Don’t let them get back on that train!