Business is personal
My career started in the financial world where I remember being told “this is not personal, this is business”. The result of this mindset was that building professional relationships at work, even with the bank’s customers, was not a focus. It was the numbers that were seen as most important. However as I moved through my career, analyzing ever more complex business plans, deciding whether or not to lend money to support a company’s growth strategy I came to realize that this focus was wrong. Business is personal.
When I looked at the companies and individuals who were successful, it was because they focused on the numbers and the people. Think of it this way, you can have the sparkliest, newest widget, but if you cannot get the people in your organization pulling in the same direction, able to execute your business plan, you do not have a successful and sustainable business.
The reality is that the world of work and your success is not a solo sport, it is a team sport. You are dependent on others for your success. It therefore makes sense to be deliberate in how you develop relationships, not just for today, but also for tomorrow. Business is about building a personal connection with people inside and outside of your team or company.
Here are three tips to get you started:
Build Your Network – Seek out opportunities to get to know the people around you. Whether it’s at a formal networking event, as a member of an association, or simply the person on the plane next to you. You may be surprised at just how connected you may be when you take the time to ask a few questions. Remember relationships are not just for today… maybe this new contact could be your boss, colleague or new client next month, next year.
Work Your Network – I use LinkedIn to keep in touch with my contacts. There is a new tool on LinkedIn that allows you to set reminders to get in touch with people (open a profile, click on ‘relationships’ and then reminders). Make sure you stay in touch, a quick congratulations message, or an article and “thinking of you”. Ask for help and input from your network, you may just receive a suggestion you hadn’t considered!
Share Your Network – In Cultivate. The Power of Winning Relationships I talk about how the most successful people are the ones who share their network and expertise, they give more than they take. Make introductions, share your wisdom and build a reputation for being the go-to person.
Three tips that will accelerate your success and impact. After all, business is personal, and relationships do matter!