Don’t leave relationships to chance! Build them deliberately.
My coaching client Sal was extremely frustrated. Sal was hired to be director of business development of Bufflesnack.com, and was doing a bang-up job, bringing in several major clients. A new marketing director was hired, Morgan, who didn’t seem to do very much at all. In fact, Morgan’s main activity was hanging out by the executive suite and shmoozing with the CEO.
Within six months, Sal’s strong performance had been recognized, and Sal had gotten a real pat on the back for a job well done. Morgan, however, had been promoted to Chief Strategy Officer, and was made Sal’s boss. Sal was livid: “I’m doing a great job and getting hand prints on my suit. Morgan is getting nothing done, missing deadlines, and getting promoted. It isn’t fair!”
Poor Sal. Sal thinks life should be fair. And it is, if you look at it right. Sal hadn’t listened to my episode on understanding your workplace currency, and thinks the job is sales, or marketing, or business development. But apparently not. At BuffleSnack, networking and relationships are more important than results.
Networking Is King
This isn’t unique to BuffleSnack. Success at any company larger than one person requires you have the right relationships in place. It doesn’t matter how good a job you do if no one but you knows about it. It doesn’t matter whether you have the answers if you never tell anyone. And then if you do tell them, unless they trust and like you enough to listen, your ideas will go nowhere.
If you work for a corporation and don’t have a specific networking plan within your company, now’s the time to start. If you work for yourself and don’t have a specific networking plan within your industry, it’s time to start. If you’re unemployed and don’t have a specific networking plan to find a job, it’s time to start. If you’re independently wealthy and don’t have a specific networking plan to find life satisfaction, hire me to help you build an extraordinary life. I’m expensive, but so very, very worth it.
Identify the People You Need and Who Need You
Start by listing the people you need to do your job. If you can identify specific people, that’s great. When I was a development manager at Intuit ages and ages ago, my project was the Quicken credit card. I realized that customers might call in with questions about credit card charges, and we as a company would have to be prepared to take those calls. The person in charge of our support department was someone whose success was intertwined with mine. They were high on my list.
You probably already know people who you’re intertwined with, but with whom you have only a shallow, passing relationship. They go on your list. If you don’t have specific people you can identify, then simply identify the type of person. If you’re an aspiring author, you might decide that you want book agents in your network, even though you don’t know any specifically yet. So add “book agents” to your list.