Relationships – The key to Success!
A lot of work has gone into the subject of success and thousands of volumes have been written by researchers and experts in this field. I have personality devoted many years to understanding why it is that some people succeed in life whilst others fail even though they have the same sorts of intelligences and opportunities. My conclusions can be summarised in one single sentence: Success is the result of quality relationships first with yourself, secondly with your team and thirdly with your customers.
I discovered that the first key to success is to have a quality (good) relationship with yourself. This involves several critical components including self-esteem, self-belief, self-reliance and self-determination. It also includes making time for yourself, rewarding yourself and taking overall physical, spiritual and mental care for yourself.
Your second key is to develop an excellent relationship with your personal and professional team. Your personal team includes your family and friends. Your family will either be a source of fulfilment or frustration for you. For most people it is bit of both. The good news is that you can experience more fulfilment and less frustration from your family by becoming an excellent communicator. Almost all marital breakdowns are really communication breakdowns. The inability to communicate is the source of 90% of domestic frustration. Through years of counselling, I have discovered that couples who communicate well can survive any financial or emotional difficulties and seasons whereas couples who do not communicate well tend to split up over minor issues that could have easily been resolved.
It has been well said, show me your friends and I’ll tell you who you are! It could also be said, show me your friends and I’ll tell you where you are going! Although you are an individual, research shows that your friends form a circle of influence around you that both directly and indirectly shape your values, beliefs, goals and personal standards of behaviour and performance. Whether you are aware of it or not, your friends are influencing you and therefore the outcomes of your life.
Your professional team includes your colleagues, suppliers, professional alliances and staff. Cairo and Diltch offer an excellent definition of leadership in their book ‘why CEO’s fall.’ They say, ‘leadership describes the capacity to build and maintain high performing teams.’ I like this definition because it puts the emphasis where it belongs, namely, with the performance of a team. This means that as a leader, you can perform no better than your team and that your team’s performance is your performance. I am sure that this idea is frustrating to many of you who are leaders. However the good news is that you can improve the performance of your team by becoming a brilliant communicator. Most team failure is really a communications failure. Teams fail for lack of clarity about key results, roles and responsibilities. They fail for lack of rapport, harmony and team spirit. They fail for lack of resource and resourcefulness. They fail for lack of recognition, reward and rest. All of these causes of team failure can be resolved through effective communication techniques.
The third key to success is to develop a great relationship with your customers. This may sound irrelevant to those of you who are neither self-employed or a business owner. However the truth is that you cannot succeed in life without taking ownership of it. This means becoming the CEO of Me Inc; the managing director of your own life and the president of your own personal services enterprise. In this respect your boss is your customer or client. Your customers give you money in exchange for valuable goods and services. But because we live in the age of consumer choice where the competition is often fierce, customers are increasingly buying relationships and not simply goods and services. They are more concerned with the way you sell than they are with what you sell. The customer wants to be prioritised above the sale itself. They want to be treated with the dignity and respect of a king or queen. They want you to value them and not simply their money. The great news is that by improving your communication skills you can ensure that your customers feel supported, valued and even cherished as they participate in the process of making you rich!