The distance between us

I love that expression. It makes me happy (and sad) at the same time (a bit like episodes of Little House on the Prairie used to).

I heard it spoken – and saw it beautifully demonstrated – at an event for Digital and Marketing Leaders in Europe last week.

A point was made about connections and dialogue and how easy it is (theoretically) to close any distance.

It made me wonder about not just the client to consumer relationship, but the agency to client one too, and the agency leader to agency team dynamic.

And for all of these, of course, the answer is to ensure that not a glimmer of light can pass between the two.

The best relationships in the world are based on mutual trust and respect, of hopes and dreams, of love and forgiveness. I’m the first to admit I don’t always get my relationships right – but I’d like to think I work hard to get them as close to right as I can.

It’s what I always hope the clients will try and do – their best too. I am always attracted to those brands, organisations and individuals who really want to perform and succeed. Usually they will be clients who work long, challenging hours and have complex organisational structures and processes to navigate, with demanding, diverse stakeholders to please. Some of these brands, organisations and individuals may be resource constrained (not enough people, limited funds), held back by legacy systems or just challengers biting at the heels of the incumbents in their industry and needing to punch above their weight to be heard.

These are the clients we love. And I’d like to say thank you to all those client relationships that I have been lucky to have no distance between.

But the other relationship with my people is as important. Let’s face it we spend so much time at the office, we often refer to them as our work family. And like any family, it’s a relationship that can be utterly fulfilling on so many levels – comfort, confidence, energy, excitement, support, stimulation, friendship.

But family as an analogy can be an unpopular one – and now the language of team is often about tribe.

So as a final thought consider this saying. “Find your tribe and love them hard”. Well my tribe at Amaze and Realise are something to be hugely proud of. They wear their hearts on their sleeves, they make the difficult look easy, they turn up and stand up every day.

My gratitude to them all is immeasurable.