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  • I recently read a blog by Seth Godin, titled: “No thank you”.  I have included the blog in it’s entirety at the bottom of this page.

    The theme of the blog was about expressing gratitude to people, but in a meaningful way, rather than relying on “the easy way out”.  He talks about ChatGPT offering to write a thank you note for you. This theme of taking the easy way out aligns well with my recent blog: Marketing Productivity,  that discusses how our societal trend these days is towards speed, instant gratification and ease, rather than considering how this will be perceived by a potential colleague, friend, client or customer. He calls it “Hustle culture”, a term that truly epitomizes what we are all experiencing, but really, do we need to buy in?  The question is, do we value the hustle more than we value connectivity?

    Seth goes further by challenging the hustle and its effect on civility in our society.  While technology can, and in many instances does, shape how society behaves, it is only the leaders in our society that will say “No, I won’t go that far”.  It’s really a form of judgment that we need to practice, and to draw the line at certain points that prevent us from becoming automatons, and letting ourselves be dumbed down to the lowest common denominator via the blind use of technology. Stop following blindly.

    Yes, technology is very useful in many ways.  However, when it affects our civility, our ability to show gratitude as real human beings, the ability to connect as social animals, and starts to erode our own decision making abilities, we have to ask where the line in the sand needs to be drawn.  Yes, I know many readers will say: “Don’t be old fashioned.  Get with the program and embrace what’s coming”, however that is an easy and simple way out to saying: “I’m just following everyone else and making my life much easier”.  Remember: followers don’t win.  They simply exist.  It’s leaders that are always the winners.

    So, ask yourself.  Do you want to just exist or do you want to win?  The decision, in my mind is easy.  Make the right decision for yourself, and show leadership qualities if you want to make a difference in your life. Use technology as a useful tool, but don’t let it become you.  If it does, what’s left of you?

    I’d love to hear your take on this topic…..

    No thank you (by Seth Godin)

    Failing to acknowledge a favor or a courtesy is a triple mistake, and it’s becoming more common. ChatGPT is now promoting the idea that it can write a thank you note for you, and a text is a lot easier than a handwritten note, and yet, the level of ‘thank you’ seems to be falling.

    It’s not that people don’t have the time to offer an honest ‘thank you’. It’s that they don’t want to acknowledge the obligation or connection.

    Minimizing a favor is an easy way to stay focused on the noise in our own heads, as opposed to realizing that we’re surrounded by other people.

    Hustle culture has discovered that ‘asking for a favor’ often triggers a positive response. This effort on the part of the other person happens because the favor-giver is seeking connection. When the recipient minimizes the favor or fails to say thank you, they create distance, not connection.

    The fact that an expression of gratitude requires so little effort makes it even more striking.

    To pick a tiny example, if someone lets you into the flow of traffic, a small nod or hand wave costs nothing. But sometimes it feels easier to assert that it was yours to take, as opposed to a kind gesture that you received.

    Our failure to take a moment to acknowledge the favor also makes it harder for the next person. If connection isn’t on offer, why not be selfish?

    Civility fades in the face of entitlement.

    The magic of an honest expression of gratitude is that the person saying thank you might benefit from it as much as the recipient.