I had dinner last night with my boss, our company’s CEO. We do this from time to time. Sometimes it’s with others, sometimes it’s one-on-one. Last night two of my peers joined us. I had a boss once who made it a point to not socialize with his colleagues outside of work (actually, I think it was at his wife’s insistence). I didn’t like that boss. Not that one has to socialize to be liked, but it says a lot about one’s style if they make socialization a part of their approach to leading, developing, and engaging their people. Maybe it’s the wine (and the Manhattans), but I always leave the table feeling more valuable, less anxious about my shortcomings, and more optimistic about our future. And my trust in my boss and peers escalates immediately.
Again, we’re not talking rocket science here. And again, that’s the point. This meal required a 3 hour investment of time and several hundred dollars…the return on that investment is far more lucrative than any performance management process, learning tool, or compensation scheme. When’s the last time you took your greatest asset to dinner (lunch doesn’t count)? If it’s longer than 60 days, I’d recommend a quick jaunt out to OpenTable.