On Making/Keeping Friends

Nordstrom's brand new CMO Brian Dennehy plays old-school tag (yes, "you're it" variety of tag) with a group of his childhood friends. The Wall Street Journal article describes the rules of the game:

The game they play is fundamentally the same as the schoolyard version: One player is "It" until he tags someone else. But men in their 40s can't easily chase each other around the playground, at least not without making people nervous, so this tag has a twist. There are no geographic restrictions and the game is live for the entire month of February. The last guy tagged stays "It" for the year.

Dennehy and his friends end up flying halfway across the country, conniving with car salesmen to let them hide in the trunk of a car, and jumping out at the least expected moments just to revel in the glory of delivering a long awaited "You're it!"

There are two insights I'm taking away from Dennehy's shenanigans. The first is that you can do a wealth of silly activities and as long as they're with the right people, they're 100% justifiable. 

Secondly, friendships are no different than any other work in our lives in that if you want to see successful outcomes, you need to put aside the time and energy and dedicate focus. Sure, this was never the case growing up where friendships were 1 part convenience, 1 part chemistry, and 1 part Adam-has-a-basketball-hoop-at-his-home. But with adult lives and agendas in full motion, blocking off time to develop or sustain strong friendships is more important than ever. Vacations and trips away are less of a Spring Break in Miami and more of a way to remember why our friends play a role in our lives (even if the trip is in Miami anyway).