If you’ve ever dropped a stone in pool of water, you know the subsequent ripples spread in all directions. These days, thanks to the transparency provided by technology, the same is true in business: every email we send, every Facebook update we post, or every tweet we, well, tweet, matters.
Both How to Wow and The Wow Factor emphasized the idea that we’re never off duty: a cocktail party meeting could turn into a deal memo—and a subsequently poorly worded email could blow the deal. Since their publications, the glass houses in which we live have gotten even more fragile. Politicians have lost offices due to inappropriate photos, employees have lost jobs due to inappropriate Facebook posts, celebrities have lost endorsements due to ill-considered texts—and it’s possible you, yourself, have lost jobs, deals, clients (or, at the very least sleep) due to choices you made in one area of your work, or your life, that then bled into another aspect of your work, or your life.
Speaking from my own experience, I recently shut down one deal when a potential partner was unable to consider my time as important as his, and another when a potential ally was unable to return calls in a timely manner.
Harsh? Perhaps, but as Charles de Gaulle pointed out, “Graveyards are filled with the bodies of indispensable men.” These seemingly small things matter to me. If you can’t understand that, I’m going to need to move on.
The Wow Effect, then, is a challenge: it asks you to take a 360-degree look at the hundreds of small choices you make every day: both at work, and in your seemingly ‘off-duty’ hours, and see how they have the potential to ripple outward, influencing your work, and your world, in ways you can’t begin to foresee when you make them.
But more important than the success paying attention to seemingly small choices has the potential to add to your business life, there’s a larger conversation about the success paying attention to these kinds of choices has on your perception of yourself. When you are someone who takes the time to think through the effect your choices will have not only on your world, but on your peace of mind, not only do you have the opportunity to be—as Mohandas Gandhi said—‘the change you wish to see in the world’; you have the opportunity to be the change you wish to see in yourself.
And the peace of mind that comes from this type of regret-free living is truly the wow effect.