I met some European executives for breakfast late last year and as we sat down they handed out business cards.
I couldn’t remember the last time someone brought cards to a meeting.
In the past ten years, most people have largely switched to iPhones, LinkedIn or other digital ways to connect.
Over the holiday break I found a box of about 1,200 business cards I collected from interviews and client meetings over two decades.
For fun I sorted the cards into three groups.
–900 cards were from people I could not for the life of me recall meeting. Some of the institutions rang a bell, but I couldn’t visualize the people at all.
–200 cards were people who I remember to some degree. I recognized their names or firms and have some recollection of when or where or why we met.
–100 cards were people who made a deeper impression. I either stayed in contact with or would like to meet them again.
That last group brought back a flood of memories: There was lunch at the Washington Post and a visit to the Financial Times. There were equity traders, portfolio managers, journalists, quants and geeks. Some had gone on to do big things. A few had died.
It’s a good life reminder that you need 1,200 meetings to get 100 that matter.
And you don’t always know which will matter in advance.
I put a rubber band around the last set and put it on my desk.
One resolution for 2022 was to reach out to as many of them as possible.
Great initiative and observations. Well done.
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