During a recent (belated) bout of spring cleaning in my office, I finally got around to tackling the massive stack of business cards that I’d been accumulating for more than a decade. As I was going through the process, it really drove home the unsurprising shift that has occurred: relationships that I had developed – ones initially grounded in face-to-face interactions – had shifted primarily to digital communication … like pretty much most aspects of the world today.
I’m not here to complain about technology ruining our lives and taking over. I firmly believe that the tech and access available at our fingertips today is an invaluable asset. But it’s because of that, that the personal interactions we have can’t be taken for granted. Those relationships really are at the heart of the communities each of us has built.
In that same vein, the community that the DRMA is centered around is its most valuable asset: those behind the business cards. And it’s not just about the networking, but also creating a community around which relationships form; where we can grow personally and professionally; where we can have fun; and where we can learn and expand our horizons. Like taking those business cards and attaching warm handshakes and hugs to them, the DRMA takes the business we do every day and makes it personal.
It’s not enough to rely on that to carry us along though – we need an engaged community if our sum is truly going to be greater than our parts. The strongest relationships are not one-sided. As a member of the Membership Committee, I can assure you we put a lot of time and effort and to making sure we’re maximizing the value and opportunities offered to our community. But that doesn’t mean that they come out without a dose of personal responsibility, as well.
We’re only as strong as our weakest links. So today I challenge you to speak up, to create a dialog, to ask questions, to participate – there’s a lot each of us can to if we’re willing to try. And it goes beyond just handing out a few business cards.