Right or wrong, like it or not, nowadays Speed is everything. Not only concerning execution but also in every aspect of the creative process, from conception to analyzing risk, to evaluating the competition, to assessing market trends and customer needs.
It explains why most success-oriented managers have stopped looking for ways to increase quality. And when they do, they still consider it secondary compared to the other, more vital graph: the quantity element.
Nevertheless, sometimes it is well worth taking the time to go the extra mile, and the top achievers know this. Especially as far as personal relationships are concerned. And personal relationships do shape professional outcomes.
Numerous professionals owe parts of their high performance to how they relate and communicate with others during negotiations, without forgetting to establish a quality relationship after closing the deal.
And relationships are the only thing you can never speed up. Even if the connection is instant and the rapport immediate. For such growth, one needs to work with the time and not against time, calmly and honestly.
Perhaps that’s why top professionals worldwide have started writing handwritten letters again. Not all the time, of course. Only on special occasions. When they want to thank someone, make a proposition of lasting effect, or explain why a risky venture is worth it.
Here are some reasons why:
- It is unexpected. The element of surprise yields results unless it is an unpleasant surprise. In this case, it never is.
- It is a test for your prospect: If the person on the other end does not have the time to read your sometimes bad handwriting or calligraphy, probably there is no time in their calendar for anything anyway as far as You are concerned.
- It is pleasant: it reminds people of times lost. And those times are always remembered as lovely times. Even when your prospect is of a younger generation, he must have heard about those times…
- It shows dedication. You did something out of the ordinary. It exudes warmth, and commitment, probing your counterpart to enter the relationship with similar feelings, validating its mutual importance. Even if you get a response via email, a personal invitation will soon follow.
- Nowadays, it is aristocratic: Anything that once had an everyday role and no longer has, only survives by addressing the higher-net customer. There was a time that everybody had their suits tailored-made, everybody was driving an Alfa Romeo car from the ’70s (because it was the 70’s), everybody listened to LPs, and everybody checked the time on a mechanical watch. Who does it nowadays? Only certain types because all those things take time. It is easier and quicker to write an email, drive a Tesla, put your headphones on, and get notifications on your smartwatch.
- Taking time means two things: First, you have time to spare (only certain people do now), and second, you have thought this idea through. It was a product of detailed thinking, transformed into commitment by being handwritten down.
- It reflects your feelings towards tradition. Skeptical and certainly not a worshiper of it, but able to understand its value under the right circumstances.
Progress is inevitable. I know of no High Performer who ever had a problem with that. But the old times have plenty to teach, as well as to offer, even today.