R.O.R. (Return on Relationships) trumps R.O.I. (Return on Investment).
In fact, effective R.O.R. will build R.O.I.
A little more than a year ago I wrote these words, “Our success—and that of our students, colleagues, and family members—will not be measured by the size of our ‘friend’ list. Rather, we need true connections—meaningful connections to other people and to a greater purpose.” Networking is not about numbers. It is about people.
Listen to some of today’s thought leaders in community activism, social media, leadership training, or education and one word resonates: Relationships.
Consider the following:
- Scott Stratten, author of Unmarketing: Stop Marketing and Start Engaging, emphasizes the importance of going beyond having a presence in social media to actually being present. When used correctly social media is not simply a digital brochure; it is a place to listen and have a conversation. Relationships need conversations—not collective monologues.
- Noted leadership coach John Maxwell teaches that effective leaders exhibit both care and candor. They have compassion for their followers; they validate them as individuals and professionals. At the same time they communicate with candor—clear and unvarnished honesty. One cannot exist without the other. If the only aim is to be nice—and ignore the elephants in the corners—effectiveness and growth will be lost. If, on the other hand, all the leader does is find fault without any human connection being established, she will soon lose her followers. And a leader without followers is simply a lonely person taking a walk. Caring and candor must take place together. If one is present and the other is not, serious concerns present themselves for the leader, the team, and the organization. Caring and candor create the foundation for a trusting relationship
- My dean at Florida State College at Jacksonville, John Wall, echoes Maxwell when he exhorts his faculty to maintain classroom rigor while at the same time building rapport with their students. A hard-nosed “this-is-my-way-or-the-highway” approach without a hand of understanding and support loses effectiveness and humanity. Giving access to a college education without corresponding support, direction, and mentoring to succeed in college is misguided.
- Brené Brown (Daring Greatly) shares a wonderful thought: “Belonging is being accepted for you. Fitting in is being accepted for being like everyone else.” A trusting relationship asks (requires) we accept each other, not control and mold each other.
Video recommendation for the week:
- Seth Godin reminds us of the obvious: The number of “friends” and “followers” and “connections” we have on social media represent little more than a fake scoreboard.
- And in a quote attributed to Peter Drucker: “Culture eats strategy for breakfast.” Don’t say that relationships are important—prove it with your actions.
Validation. Appreciation. Conversation. Belonging. Presence. Trust.
R.O.R. (Return on Relationships) trumps R.O.I. (Return on Investment). In fact, effective R.O.R. will build R.O.I.
Choose well. Live well. Be well—and H.T.R.B. as needed!
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Make it a wonderful week—and a wonderful New Year!
(c) 2014. Steve Piscitelli. All rights reserved.