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SuperCompetent: The Six Keys to Perform at Your Productive Best by Laura Stack

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Chapter 19. We Don't Need No Steenking Rolodexes!

SUPERCOMPETENT Hero Thinking:

I keep careful track of my contacts and my communications with them; I can tell you what was said in a meeting a year ago.

SIMPLY COMPETENT Zero Thinking:

I've got that person's e-mail and phone number around here somewhere. If I hunt for it, I'm sure I can find it.

I had a manager in the mid-80s who had three huge Rolodexes on his desk to house his collection of business cards. I still remember watching him proudly flip through the thousands of cards, hunting for the right one that could help you solve your problem or answer a question. However, if he couldn't remember his contact's name or company, it often took him a long time to find that person.

Technology has made contact management easier in some ways, but the speed at which we now operate poses unique challenges:

  • We communicate with more people than ever before.

  • Technology provides more media with which we can communicate.

  • The speed with which people expect you to respond to communication has likewise increased.

  • Global markets have expanded, so we talk with people all over the world, most of whom we'll never meet.

  • Technology allows us to meet with people without traveling.

Despite all this, SuperCompetent people seem to be able to magically recall conversations they had with people years ago. Their memories aren't better; they're simply more organized. They realize that to effectively organize their contacts with the people in their lives—both personal ...

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