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Nurture vs. the New Nature of Work

January 31, 2017

Job satisfaction and strength of relationships – there ain’t no app for that. They are slow, meandering, uncomfortable, messy processes.” –  Simon Sinek 

Increase market potential for your business. Businessman draw growing line symbolize growing market potential, office in background.When I heard Simon Sinek articulate this thought on immediate gratification as part of a broader analysis of millennials in the workplace,  it challenged me to reflect on the expectations that today’s leaders are facing.

We are told that if we’re not disrupting we’ll soon be disappearing; if we’re not innovating we might as well be regressing; and if we’re not plugged in then certainly we’re out of touch. Which is to say we want results now. We demand immediate gratification. It could be said that this is the new nature of how we work.

If this makes you anxious, you’re not alone.

But let’s be honest – this is not just a millennial issue. We’ve all become increasingly impatient.

Our firm was recently asked if we implement “viral marketing” campaigns – something that implies a set of astronomical metrics including views, likes, shares and even sales. The viral promise is alluring because it touts three things everyone wants: simplicity, low cost and maximum exposure or return on investment.

To be clear, there is no strategy that can predict, create or ensure “viral” success. The concept is born of an appetite for immediate gratification and the quick win; a swing-for-the-fences mentality that has no patience for how beloved companies are successfully built and sustained.

If there is one thing we’ve learned – and embraced – over decades of building trusted relationships and creating stories that resonate, it is this:

These things take time. Be in it for the long haul.

It is the care and feeding of relationships, strategies that touch the head and the heart, and well-implemented tactics that make a difference. Nurture all of them.

One of my chief concerns is that as a byproduct of impatience, companies begin to lose their way, their trusted voice and even their long-standing reputation.

So have the fortitude to overcome those slow, uncomfortable and messy components of which Sinek speaks. As you persevere, may you have the good fortune to build lasting relationships and tell memorable, successful stories. And may you be so lucky to experience an event that goes viral, knowing that it is as rare and elusive as a unicorn.