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Leaders Return People's Messages

Responding quickly as possible to people who contact you is timeless advice

Jim Brothwell was a wise man who, early in my career, took me under his wing.  He was my wife’s distant cousin, and when we moved to the city where he lived he opened up his home to us for an occasional weeknight dinner or weekend barbeque. We hardly knew him, but Jim and his wife made conversation easy.

He had recently retired from 40-year career in banking, and I think he enjoyed giving a young buck advice.  One of the tips he shared with me didn’t seem earth-shaking at the time, but I’m glad I took to heart what I now fondly call “Jim’s Rule”: Promptly return your calls.

“When somebody calls you,” Jim said, “they need something. They’ve had to stop whatever it is they’re working on and can’t get it done until they gather some sort of information from you.”

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