Last week I presented at our new hire orientation and told a story about sending a book to a client. I got blank stares and a room full of confused faces, so I joked, “Books…it’s when a bunch of paper is bound together with a cover…you can buy them in stores.”
That’s when I realized that at 39 (not 40…yet), maybe I’m getting old. These fresh-faced 20-somethings looked a little embarrassed for me and whispers started to circle the room.
“Seriously? He means a Kindle, right?”
“No, I mean a book. Really heavy and probably won’t fit into your carry on. It has one story, not 24,000 and it definitely doesn’t come with Candy Crush included.”
And, then it hit me. I’m no longer a Young Gun (cue the dramatic Law and Order “dun dun”). I was willing to bet that not a single person in the meeting would ever receive a fax or even know that fax is an abbreviation of facsimile. In which case they surely wouldn’t know what I meant when I hand a business card to my assistant and ask “Will you put this in my Rolodex?”
I actually said that today, and as the words came out of my mouth, I thought I really need to stop it with the rolodex. They might know what a Blackberry is but I’m sure I would get more blank stares if I showed them my old Palm Pilot or Sharp Wizard.
I used all of those “cool gadgets” in the 90s to make my day more efficient and now they’re obsolete. It can be exhausting trying to keep up with how fast technology moves today. But, even if #iamold, there are basic business practices that will remain the same that every generation should be reminded of:
- Embrace technology: This is obvious. Technology is a moving target – stay on your toes and embrace it. The key is to embrace but not replace. No technology can replace an in person lease negotiation, hand written thank you note, or hand delivered gift.
- Hustle: Hustle beats talent all day. Luck seems to follow right behind hard work. Put your head down and out hustle your competition.
- Love what you do: If you don’t have a smile on your face when you see your colleagues everyday you’re doing it wrong. Find a job or an employer where your colleagues are your best friends.
- Always use the Golden Rule: It’s simple. Treat everyone regardless of title how you would want to be treated. First it’s the right thing to do. And people remember good manners so when you treat the summer intern as an equal, it’s something they will remember.
- Give back: Find an opportunity where you can give back without asking for anything in return. We all help in places that indirectly help our pockets (client charities) but find a place where you can truly share your fortune with others and never expect anything in return.
Everyday I want to learn – preferably from other’s mistakes not mine and layering my experience with a new perspective from the young guns at my office, I’ve improved.
Sometimes you just need a kid taking a selfie on their first day to remind you of that.
About the author | Managing Director Jeff StaubachAs leader of the Dallas tenant representation team, Jeff Staubach provides strategic oversight to a group of 25 brokers. Additionally, he focuses on communicating the national platform to promote a strong team culture, best practices and comprehensive solutions to clients in the Metroplex. During his 16 year career he has completed over 5,000,000 square feet of transactions.