Last week, Sierra Pacific had our Spring Symposium. Just over 100 people showed up for a couple days of education and perhaps a little golf. The weather controlled the golf down to about 4-5 holes. The education was the real show.
In planning this event, my friend, colleague, mentor and crime partner Dean Kinney and I made sure that we didn't fill the schedule with so much that it would be too much. Why? Simple. Love. That's right, Love. I can hear it now, the collective mass groan of the TurfHeads as they brace themselves for more of my Californiacated Spench of Touch and Feel.
But I'm serious. Because in the case of leaving time for people to get to interact with people, you knowNetwork, we are upholding the intangible. We can't charge for it. We can't bottle it in a 2.5 gallon container, we can't print it out as data. Networking is an intangible thing. Any yet, we all know it brings amazing value. So in planning our event, networking time was just as important as having myself or one of the invited PhDs banging out zillions of Powerpoint slides.
I don't always do well reading business books. You know, the whole genre of books designed to make me a better business person. It's laughable. I simply get bored with the content and wonder, as I read, if the writer would ever last in my business. But someone gave me an audio book of Tim Sanders' Love is the Killer App and it became my favorite listen and later, my favorite read and still makes my Top 10 list.
Sanders, had or has some crazy title at Yahoo. Chief Solutions Officer. Nice. Sounds like something along the lines of Chief of Mayonnaise to the Sandwich Maker. But once I got past the Yahooisms. it became clear to me that Sanders was onto something. In Sanders' mind, we all need to practice love business the act of intelligently and sensibly sharing what he calls our Intangibles (our knowledge, our network and our compassion) with our business partners.
Our Intangibles? Wilber please. Keep smoking the Labrador Sativa, you must be saying. But the truth is, this little bit of info turns out to be one of the greatest concepts of growing grass that I have ever tripped across. It fits us so well. It explains why so many of us do what we do. And it turn, it explains why so many of us hate it so much when down to the knuckles spreadsheet grinding business takes over our world ofthat's right Intangibles. Even though Sanders was once a Reggae musician, The Feather Bed Bubba Kush has not gone all wrong to make him all monkey brain. This book and his explanation of the concept is spot on.
Think about it to we TurfHeads, the network is of supreme importance. I see it on the road every day. Even the grass growers who don't get out, don't go to meetings, don't talk to others, want to know what's going on and they ask me for news. The network is alive and well. We thrive on hearing from each other and what others are doing. It's intangible, alright. But priceless as well.
So let me askwhen was the last time you gave some Love? When? When was the last time you did something for someone, helped someone, gave info to someone or just plain said a good word to someone and didn't expect a single thing in return? I know for me, as I first read this book, I was making the transition from independent consultant to technical agronomist. It was a time when I was unsure of what my real value was. Were my ideas, that I once charged for, the product or is the product now the stuff in the bag? I didn't understand what had come of my world and it showed. But it also meant that I didn't understand what my product really was in the past, either.
Sanders lays out a critical path of making sure that you understand that the overarching theme is that open sharing of your knowledge with your coworkers, superiors and other firms (or people) you are partnered with and working to help them to improve, works out for you much more than hoarding what you know and trodding others down on the way up the ladder. This is love in the workplace, and I was glad to have it defined for me.
I just got done reading (listening to, actually) this book again. I've done it every spring, just as I have read a couple other key books that serve as compass headings for me. I'm astounded at the way that our world economy has even made this into more of a guiding principle. At our Spring Symposium, there was some buzz about this blog and about my blogging. A few people who were either close to me or just plain stupid (kiddingnot really) asked me how much I was being paid for the work put in. And imagine their faces when I said, that I didn't know and that I'm not sure it will pay anything and if it does it doesn't matter. I often get looks of disbelief, so this isn't new and I just laughed. See, it's not important. My intangible here is that anyone would even talk to me about reading something I had written. I never in a million years dreamed I'd write for fun or for a living and I'll explain why in a future blog post.
Love is the Killer App. I am sure that in our crazy world, this is more than just a small truth. It's a Goodyear Blimp of a fact.