My Challenge To Both Of Us (How I Was Schooled By One Of My Students…)

by Henry J. Evans, Managing Partner
Find yourself in the same shoes as the author? Read our book and discover how a culture of accountability can help solve this problem!

Recently I was confronted with my limited thinking about communicating through social media. This was such an important lesson for me that I felt compelled to share it.

I was leading one of my classes, Creating High Accountability Cultures to MBA students at the Cox Business School. Afterwards, I spoke with Hunter Foreman, an MBA student, who is also a young entrepreneur. His start-up firm “Delta Tribe” specializes in internet marketing services. I asked Hunter if he could help optimize our online image. He said “I could do that for you, but a longer-term strategy would be for you to create a powerful social media presence.” I asked, “Do you mean use Facebook?” He answered, “Yes.”

My reaction was automatic and defensive “That’s just not who our clients are! Not a single executive-level client is on Facebook. It’s just not me! I don’t want to tell the world when I’m going to the bathroom. Besides, they have better things to do than read about what kind of pizza I’m eating and when.”

His response: “When you were teaching our MBA class you said that your mixed martial arts trainer, Greg Jackson, would always demonstrate and demand ‘leading from the front’ – how are you doing that right now?”

He had me. I was busted and feeling sheepish! He continued. “Your clients may not be using social media today, but the day will come when they wake up and realize their survival depends on it. On that day you will know nothing about social media and prove yourself obsolete.”

Now he really had my attention: “Although this may not be the way your generation communicates, my generation will be replacing yours and this is how we communicate. Since we are going to be your customers and your employees, perhaps it’s time you learned our language.”

I couldn’t argue. He was not only absolutely right, but his confidence and ability to counter my mindset was impressive. He was modeling the kind of savvy emotional intelligence we teach CEOs! With these few words he caused me to shift my perspective and within two weeks, with his help, we set up our company’s Facebook and Twitter pages. I even ordered a Flip video camera to begin recording video blogs which we will launch on or before February 28. My deep thanks to Hunter Foreman for showing me positive next steps; and, as always, I welcome any feedback you care to share.

In closing, consider what our friend, Suzanne Hoenig said recently, “Social media is communication….it’s the best thing to happen to society since the neighborhood. You remember the neighborhood, don’t you? That’s where people talked over the backyard fence, and kids could safely run around without adult supervision.” So become part of our Dynamic Results neighborhood, and weigh in on this topic.

So really, it’s all about relationship! As we near the end of this year, and we celebrate holidays with our families, we want to thank you for our relationship. We appreciate your trust in our team, and the privilege of serving you. We wish you the best of everything in the up-coming year, and we look forward to having the opportunity to continue to grow and make a difference in our world together.

In partnership,

Henry J. Evans, Managing Partner

As always, we welcome your comments. Join us on facebook to share your experiences or email us at [email protected].

Find yourself in the same shoes as Henry did? Read our book and discover how a culture of accountability can help solve this problem!

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