All should be recognized, but as in the history of the Oscars and Grammy Awards, many will be overlooked. In having the chance to spend time with these people, I was reminded of one simple truth: This business was built on relationships.
You might think the digital advertising business is based on technology. It is not. Technology is essential to its success, but people and relationships have driven the success of so many companies.
Relationships are what enable new technology to get tested. When a never-heard-of-before company comes up with some new innovation, it always comes down to a relationship that engenders the trust to give it a try. Trust between two people, which is then extrapolated to apply to two larger organizations, is how a test gets established.
Even the relationship between a customer and a brand is an important factor in what works and what doesn’t.
We all get busy. Being busy is a fact of life — and it’s the number-one reason people let relationships get stale. Fostering relationships takes time and effort. Sometimes that effort gets allocated to other projects, but we should always set aside time to focus on building and maintaining relationships to people important to us.
Importance is a matter of perspective — to me, what’s important is a mutually beneficial exchange of information. I have tried to avoid single-sided relationships where one person gives, and the other person takes. I strive to have every relationship have balance in terms of investment as well as personal benefit.
The people I met with last week had a profound impact on me and my career. These were people I have known for 20 or 25 years, in some cases.
Some of these people helped me recognize new ideas. Others helped mentor me.
Others were simply kind to me when I was a pompous and somewhat short-fused agency leader with too much authority and not enough experience to warrant it. I had good ideas, but I did not yet have the wisdom that helps you understand how to use your ideas. Some of those people helped me to gain that wisdom.
I will always be indebted to these people for their time. I may not be great at expressing my gratitude towards them, but I hope they understand the impact they had on me.
My advice to you: Take the time to foster, invest your time and maintain those relationships. They will help you become the person you are capable of being.
Cheers to the group formerly known as iMedia.