275 - Nothing Beats In-Person Interaction - John Laurito
Episode 275 Nothing Beats In Person Interactions Tomorrows Leader Podcast with John Laurito

275 – Nothing Beats In-Person Interaction

 In today’s episode, host John Laurito shares a story about him reaching his tipping point and how you know when you’ve reached yours. The dictionary definition of a tipping point is the critical mass – the threshold or the boiling point. We sometimes feel as though we have reached it in our life, career, and business, particularly when we feel like giving up or realizing the need for change.

[0:00] Intro

[0:32] Storytime!

[3:31] The level of relationships is different between virtual and in-person

[4:49] The power of in-person interaction

[8:03] Outro

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John (Intro): Over the last two decades, I’ve been on an insatiable quest to learn everything I can about leadership. What makes the best leaders so good? After running companies small and large over the last 20 years, today I speak on stages worldwide to audiences interested in that same question. My name is John Laurito. I’m your host, and I invite you to join me on this journey as we explore this very topic and what makes the best leader so good? Welcome to Tomorrow’s Leader

John: Welcome to today’s episode of Tomorrow’s Leader, where we dive deep on all things leader-related, related to leading yourself and leading others. I am John Laurito, your host, very happy here to be in peace and quiet because right as I’ve been doing these last few episodes, there’s been a lawnmower right outside my window. So very happy that that’s not there. You can hear me clearly, hopefully. Okay. So I just last week got back from a fantastic week. I drove a ton, but it was so well worth it. Lincoln Investment, is a phenomenal company, a phenomenal organization for which I do a tremendous amount of work and I was there in the Philadelphia area for the week. We had hosted some great new recruits that are joining the firm we had that was in Philly. 

John: And I drove to Pittsburgh. I woke up at three there, so I drove Monday. This was interesting. Drove Monday for 10 hours to Philadelphia to just north of Philadelphia. We had our evening with the group on Monday, did a full day of meetings on Tuesday, and Wednesday morning, woke up at 3:00 in the morning, and drove 5 hours from Pittsburgh to Philly to Pittsburgh to join Rayour VP out there. And his team, an awesome team did a presentation there for the group, and then we had a lot of fun at the Pittsburgh. I was going to say Steelers Pirates came out there and just had a blast and then drove back 5 hours that same night. And then the next couple of days we did a quarterly business review with all the senior leaders and regional vice presidents. 

John: What a phenomenal group. Just loved it, loved it, loved it, loved it. But here was here is what was really cool in Tampa. Yes, we missed you and threw out the shout-out to you because you were the one that because of COVID could not make it. And we missed you dearly in person. So what I will say now, I have been working with Lincoln now for almost two years and I’ve been interacting with everybody virtually. I’ve met a small handful of people in person, literally, probably on one hand in person, and the rest we’ve been interacting virtually for I can’t even, you know, tell you, you know, weekly, some almost daily. So I’ve built really great relationships and gotten to know people and many, many people, but 90% of them plus I’ve never met in person. 

John: So this trip was the first time to meet them in person. And it was amazing because, you know, for the most part, everybody looks the same. But there are a few people, a good handful people, a good couple of handfuls of people where I’m like, wow, you know, you’re you look different. Or I just envision you tall or short, shorter, whatever the case may be. I probably had 20 people shocked at how tall I am. I’m 6’3 for those of you who don’t know. And I just realize now that there’s some I don’t know. The camera makes me look shorter, I

guess. I don’t know. Everybody across the board. I said, wow, I had no idea you were this big. So I’m tall and, you know, 250 pounds. I walk into a room, you know, it. So any event, it was kind of funny to see the reaction. 

John: But what I will tell you is the level of the relationships from just those few days and even sometimes very brief interactions went up so significantly. The relationships went up so significantly because of now meeting face to face. It was unbelievable. And I knew that be the case to the two degrees. I had no idea how much, no idea how much. And my point is now we leave there and people even said I was on a call or today said that we feel like we know you on a whole different level. Yes, you do. When you have that personal interaction. There’s something I was talking to Steve who’s one of the leaders there, great leader. And I was talking to him and I said, you know, it is so different talking to you face to face. I feel like there’s such a different deepness to our conversation and relating with each other and just leaving here feeling closer, like, and all across the board with everybody. 

John: It was unbelievable the difference. It just was a big wake-up call and how important it is to get your teams together. So we had been running these quarterly business reviews kind of virtually and individually and just wow, the power getting everybody together. So I know as a leader, you’re faced with that question a lot. You may be dealing with it right now. I’ve had so many people say, Wow, your podcast was so timely. I was literally just thinking of this. So you may be thinking right now, you know, should we do this meeting, this next quarterly thing or whatever, virtually or in-person, I will tell you, if at all possible. Get your teams together. It is believable the power of that in-person interaction much more so than ever before because we’ve all been so distanced over these last couple of years. 

John: So now the effects of the in-person meeting are so crazy for some of you. You’re running organizations, you’re bringing in new people into the organization virtually, and that’s very typical now. But think about that, especially if you’re bringing in young college grads or something like that into your organization. And really across the board, they’re coming into a virtual company that is only as big as their computer screen. Like, literally, that’s their view, that’s their lens into your organization is what they see through the computer screen. They don’t feel the culture, they don’t smell the office. They don’t hear the sounds of what it’s like in the hustle and bustle of the office. They don’t get that. 

John: So do what you can to bring them together. I know somebody who just graduated, who’s joining a firm and going into the virtual world with this firm. But the firm did something really good. They hosted a game. They had everybody come to a baseball game similar to what I just did. And they got everybody together, including my friend who is who’s joining this firm, who has never met anybody. And his response was incredible. So incredible. And that was important. Right. That was important. They made him feel welcome. They made him feel welcome, which is so key. And this is you know, he’s out he’s in Jersey and their company is up in Connecticut area. So it’s like, okay, there’s a distance there. Right? So the fact that they invested in bringing that group, which is physically dispersed into the fold so that they could all enjoy some time together, was probably not inexpensive, is probably expensive, but the payoff to that is absolutely huge. The payoff is absolutely huge. 

John: So my message to you, I know it’s difficult sometimes, but do what you can and it’s not right now. At least get something in the books for some point coming up in the next few

months so people can look forward to it. Get your teams in person. It is incredibly powerful. You will thank me for it. I’m not telling you anything you don’t know. But you may not know it to the degree because I just loved it. Wow. The level of relationships, the trust level, the level of ability to communicate, and even in a candid way goes up significantly when you kind of break that virtual barrier there. 

John: So in any event, take that for what it’s worth. Do something with it. Trust me, it will make a difference for you. So as always, hope you enjoyed this. Let me know what your thoughts are again. Ideas, thoughts, anything. You have reached out to me, go down below, give a five-star review and we will see you next time. Thanks. 

John (Closing): Thanks for joining us on today’s episode of Tomorrow’s Leader. For suggestions, or inquiries, about having me at your next event, or personal coaching, reach me at john@lauritogroup.com Once again, that’s john@lauritogroup.com. Thanks! Lead on!

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