I am a great believer in the power of the written word. As a writer, words are both my tools and my products. I take immense satisfaction at being able to deploy exactly the right word to convey a thought or feeling, although if I can’t settle on just one – I’ll throw in 5 or 10 more, just in case. (I’m not known for being concise.) At home, we still get two newspapers and, of course, an embarrassing number of magazines.
My mom insisted that we hand write thank you notes and I’ve tried hard to raise my children right in that regard. In times of grief and loss, a hand-written note of comfort and remembrance can soothe the soul upon every reading and to me, is perhaps the most giving expression we can offer.
When it comes to on-the-job communication, I also want it in writing. An email thread to capture the details, spell out the deadlines and eventually, refresh my memory, is a thing of beauty. It’s possible that the only thing more useful than email is texting. Quick. Concise. Clear. I love it. Group text? Now we’re talking. Well, actually we’re not and that’s even better. Talk text? Perfect! Now I can talk into my phone and written words appear. Sometimes they are even the ones I said. Another bonus of technology.
So to review… I love the beauty, impact and permanence (and sometimes the ease) of the written word – until it comes to actually doing business and then you better believe I want to talk to someone! I want to look you in the eye, shake your hand, find out where you’re from, check on your momma and ask who your college football team is. And that’s just at the dry cleaner. For business decisions, important purchases, big investments and anything involving my family, I don’t just want to meet you – I want to know you. And if I like you, you’re stuck with me forever. (There are probably lots of folks out there trying to lose my business!)
I’m not alone in this preference. People to Know was created over a decade ago because of one simple truth – People do business with people they know. It was true then and is truer today, in our larger, more complex world. Our business colleagues so often become personal friends, and doing business is all the more enjoyable and productive when we’re working with people we know and understand. At its core, business is personal, thank goodness!
We hope you enjoy this year’s People to Know issue. It’s a great one to keep on hand all year long. You’ll never know when you might need advice or insight from someone in a specialized field – and it’ll be nice to have their contact info at your fingertips!
Dana K. Urrutia