BY PAUL PAPPY, CEO, SONFAST CORPORATION
Today’s culture, sociologically speaking, is handicapped by technology, fear of communication and a general malaise for human-to-human connection. Blame what you will; COVID, virtual meeting fatigue, complacency, but we are becoming generationally inept at connecting with others.
So how do we get to where we want to be professionally, socially and economically if we are unwilling to engage with our own species on a level that, not too long ago, was commonplace? DISCIPLINE. Let’s force ourselves to be uncomfortable with all that’s changed until we recognize old behaviors and rebuild our broken relationships or at least our broken perception of them.
I have made it a personal goal to persevere through the mire of disconnection. I value relationships and reputation over revenue. The first two will ALWAYS produce the last.
In 2023, my mission statement for my business and my community is, “Make an Impact.” If you’re not willing to apply purpose to your action, why? We passively interact with thousands of people every day and we don’t offer any attention to the blank stares on their faces, the red cheeks and puffy eyes from a recent cry, the silent screams of frustration with an ongoing situation they can’t control or change. We are generally unaware. I’m challenging as many as I can to break the chains of status quo and unseat our aloof existence.
I’ve led a networking team in the Upstate for seven years. During that time, team members have come and gone, but the culture of our team is based on consistency in leadership, commitment to the good of the team, setting an example of conduct, and supporting our values in word and action.
Professional Network Connections (shameless plug) is that example. From the top to the bottom, PNC builds team culture that demands relational connection. We use that to grow our businesses, but the magic is when we realize that we’re not a part of the team so we can sit back and collect leads.
We use the quality of our own relationships to benefit the team. We work harder at cultivating and nurturing our own customer relationships so that we can produce a strong introduction for someone else. The trust that we’ve established becomes trust in our referral partners. It’s a beautiful thing to watch a selfless introduction become an opportunity for another. In the end, the customer wins and our reputations, our legacy, is galvanized.
To put a bow on this; everything we do should make an impact. The first time someone meets us, we should never miss a chance to leave a mark on that exchange that demands a second conversation, germinates curiosity. We are created as social beings, to be in fellowship with one another. Let’s not waste any more time of our lives avoiding each other. Instead, let’s build each other up in community and MAKE AN IMPACT!
This content appeared first in GSA Business Report’s Book of Experts.