Relationships can be tricky; they can drive positive results, or negative results. The magic is, we get to choose. If you are like me, and did not pay enough attention to the importance of good and positive relationships early enough, you know that we wasted a lot of time. We spent too much time trying to be right, failing to recognize that others could make us wrong. We spent too much time on building our business, and not enough time on building relationships.
Thankfully, it isn’t too late. It isn’t too late to connect with the others that we really care about, professionally and personally. For if we don’t really care about them, they know it, and anything we do to indicate otherwise is wasted time. And time is too precious to be wasted.
I am reminded of the fact that most of my business these twenty-two years has been built upon the power of referrals. That is such a powerful message when I slow down enough to think about it, which isn’t often enough.
There are some heroes/mentors that have helped me to understand at the deepest level the power of relationships. Jim Cathcart and Bill Brooks, who gave this young professional speaker a chance to get immersed in the business, are two of those. I am so grateful, and still feel a sense of awe when I see Jim at meetings and he greets me by name, and I grieve that Bill is no longer with us, but his legacy is forever with me. I can only hope that I have a similar impact on others.
One of my very best friends (for almost 45 years) was Bryan Townsend, who loved me and mentored me in so many ways. He died much too soon a couple of years ago, but not before modeling a life of humility and graciousness, more important qualities than all of his good other qualities, and he had many.
As I think of my business, I have several examples of how relationships have driven results. I have had the privilege of “going deep” within companies, where CEOs have “released” me to work with their staff in profound ways, not feeling the need to control what I did. Dana Jennings, Render Dahiya, Eric Vaughn and Penny Washington come immediately to mind. I want to publically thank them and their staff for the trust they placed in me. They model the best of Empowerment.
And then there is the importance of personal relationships. With the New Year upon us, how is it with our family? For the importance of whatever platform we speak on pales in comparison to the importance of the platform we live on. Does our family know that we love and value them? How are we doing in that area?
Welcome to the musings of this Leadership speaker/consultant. I promise to comfort the disturbed, and disturb the comforted. (Credit to Elizabeth Jeffries, who voiced this the first time I heard it.) I welcome you to do the same.