Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The National Follow-up Deficit

We hear a lot about the budget deficit these days. We used to hear a lot about the trade deficit, but we've had one of those so long, and nothing bad seems to have happened, that politicians don't pay so much attention to that one anymore.

But we don't hear a lot about the National Follow-up Deficit.

Have you seen signs of it?

Once you start looking for it, you find signs of it all over.

Just a couple examples:

+ From time to time during the summer, I'll hire someone to help do some yardwork. Of the dozen or more people that I've hired over the years, only one has ever called me up the following year to see if I needed more help.

+ I was looking for a vacation rental for a ski weekend, and sent inquiries to ten different properties. Only three of them got back to me with an email, and none of them tried a second time, even though I included my phone number.

I know that I'm at fault here too, and that someone looking over my shoulder could find plenty of examples where I've failed to follow-up.

But am I wondering: what would it do our GDP growth, the unemployment rate, and overall life satisfaction if we were better at following up on opportunities?

How could you teach that?

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