Leaders Know Who to Call

Cell phone

Do you remember your first phone? For some of you, like me, your first phone was a phone that your parents let you have in your bedroom. It was connected to your home phone, but you could talk with your friends or girlfriend in private (okay, or boyfriend). I remember my first phone well. I was a sophomore in high school, living in New Jersey, and my parents bought a phone for me. I hooked it up in my room. From it, I would call my girlfriend (we’d literally talk for hours) or one of “the guys.” When someone would call me, I’d go into my room, shut the door, and talk. We didn’t have flip phones, cell phones, or smart phones. We couldn’t text or post to Facebook or Instagram. But we did talk on the phone. About sports, about girls, about school, about any and everything.

My dad’s parents even had a “party line.” Their “number” was two longs and a short. When the phone rang two times “long” and one time “short,” they’d answer the phone. That signal meant the call was for them. Of course the other families on the party line were also on the line (most of the time), trying to breathe quietly so they could listen in on the conversation without setting off any alarms. It was a combination of gossiping and spying at the same time. An art of sorts.

While I don’t remember all the phones I’ve had over the years, my favorite was a Motorola Razor flip-phone. I still miss it. It was a great phone. Small, convenient and reliable. I haven’t used it in over 10 years. But I still have it (for some reason) in a shoe box.

After using small phones for years (by choice), I finally decided to go to a larger phone. I went from an iPhone 5 (maybe 5S) that was a hand-me-down to an iPhone 7 Plus. It was a big change. I have small hands and I can’t text one-handed with the new phone. The iPhone 7 Plus is more of a “phablet.” But I love it. I’m surprised. I thought I’d try it for a year and see what I thought. There’s no going back. I rarely use my iPad or Kindle anymore. And I really don’t mind two-hand texting. Who knows? If pressed, I might even say I like the iPhone 7 Plus better than my trusty old Motorola Razor. Maybe.

Way back, I remember the first “mobile” or “cell” phone I’d ever seen. My mom got a mobile phone (a “bag” phone) that fit in a bag about the size of a shoebox. By today’s standards, it was HUGE. But way back, it was cool. She carried it in her car so my dad could keep tabs on her whereabouts. She’d had a stroke and he wanted to know she was safe. My mom was one of the first people around with a bag phone. A true early-adopter. We’ve “come a long way baby.”

But regardless of your phone, my question is this – who would call in a time of crisis? Regardless of the hardware (or software), iPhone or Android, Apple or Samsung, who would you in a time of need? I’ve thought about this question for a few weeks. Would you call your wife or husband? Father or mother? Brother or sister? Friend? Pastor? Coach? Neighbor? Kids? Who would you call? It’s a question worth thinking about. It’s also worth thinking about who would call you?

Who you would call and who would call you tells a lot about your relationships. It tells a lot about your impact, your legacy. It tells a lot about you. Great leaders know who they’d call and they know who’d call them. They develop relationships. They invest in others. They regularly spend time with their friends, family, neighbors and colleagues. They care. They invest. They build. They develop. They share.

Great leaders know who they’d call. And who would call them in times of crisis. Do you?

Have a great week. Think about who you would call in a crisis. And who would call you? Why?

is an agent of change and is able to balance the needs of the business and the needs of people. Dr. Gerwig believes and practices the values of performance and delivery of business metrics while simultaneously developing and growing people into leaders. You can contact him at RobertGerwig[at]LeadStrategic.com.

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