Know Enough

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Knowledge is power. The more you know the more you realize you don’t know much.

The more you know the more you understand you must have others by your side to fill in the knowledge gaps.

The more you know the more you know who you should have by your side.

In the future, no one will be an expert but you should know enough to partner with others of similar depth on varying topics. Know enough on topics that interest you so others will want you on their team.  Know enough to know you need others.  Simply put: Know Enough.

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People Take Care of People…Period.

Thanks to Social Media, we are seeing just how communal and supportive people are to one another.  Our most basic needs to be socially and emotionally connected are being met in a broad and sweeping way.  It is an amazing new frontier we are experiencing and the business world is catching on in droves.  You have heard the saying “our employees are our most important resource”, yet not as many employees felt that way.  Thankfully, the tides are starting to change…ahh….how good it is and what a glorious change it will be when fully realized.

People ARE the most important resource, people ARE the most important asset, and people ARE the most important gift you will ever get in life.  They are the like water, and air to us…we cannot live without their connection.  Why…because people take care of people….period.

As a leader of an organization, rethink the paradigm.  Your employees should be first in the care chain.  When you take care of your employees first, they will see your customer as their customer and take care of them accordingly.  People will do more when they are in love and they will be naturally inspired to make a difference with others.  When your employees take care of the customers, they will show their love, care and support in return and take care of your business and your shareholders/owners.

Rethink the Paradigm:  Employees then Customers then Shareholders.  Your organizations may be successful but you won’t know just how much you are leaving on the table until you realize this paradigm.

As the leader of You, take care of yourself first.  Fully love yourself first and then you may love and help others.  When you love yourself fully you expect more, learn and grow more, and give and care more.  Caring and giving more are the best things you can do for yourself, others and your company.  Finding out what gifts you are meant to leave, what messages you are meant to share, and what lessons you are meant to teach are the greatest things you can do for others and your company.  When you take care of yourself and then others, it becomes a natural extension to take care of the world including its resources and peace.  Only the most self-actualized and enriched people live this way and aspire for a world of peace and possibilities.

Rethink the Paradigm.  You then Others then the World.  Are you awesome already…taking good care of your health, heart, mind, soul, family and friends, employer, leader, co-workers, community, and earth?  If you are not yet, just imagine how awesome you could be?

People take care of People.  When we understand this fully and emotionally, our new reality will be far greater than anything we could imagine.

Today’s Project:  Show kindness to yourself, to someone who has made it challenging for you in the business community (your boss, your employee, your customer) and do something earth friendly today.  It takes time to see the change so do it again tomorrow and the following day.  Know this: You are changing the direction of your life, the lives of others and the world.  Now that is Awesome!

I would like to hear from you…you matter to me.  What do you think of this interpretation of People taking care of People?  Share your comments below and share with others if you feel so inspired.

Be a Connector

In continuation of the series Keep your Business Relationship Healthy and Sustainable let’s continue the 10 things to bring to a healthy business relationship.  For today’s post, we are going out of order, as that is part of what makes for good conversations…a little twists and turns.

Be a Connector by bringing people together, building a tribe and following for good. 

In today’s world we are increasingly moving to a connected society.  Social media has brought into full view for everyone to see who you are and more importantly what your network of relationships looks like.  I have said this before, but I think it is worth repeating, for me life is all about relationship and experiences.  If you have meaningful and enriching relationships and if you create amazing and life long impressions and experiences for them, you will have a successful life.

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What is described above is not the pedestrian term of “Networking”.  This is an overused word with no real “connection” to people’s hearts, minds and souls.  What we are talking about are real connections to people that you meet for either a moment or a lifetime.  To be a Connector means making connections with many different people you come across each day.  In my mind people come into your life for one of three reasons:

1)   to give you a gift

2)   to give you a message

3)   to teach you a lesson

Look forward to making a connection with those you encounter.  You will discover we all have a basic set of needs that we are looking to have met:

1)   to be heard

2)   to be understood

3)   to be seen

Employees, who have relationships that physically span deep, wide and are far-reaching, are very attractive as they have a tribe that is deep and plentiful.  Should they have an issue that cannot be solved alone, they can call upon their tribe of common hearts, minds and souls who are eager, at varying levels, to help them.  Should they want to voice their joy over a great product, a great company, a great experience, they are there ready to listen and more importantly rely on our word of endorsement.  Should they have a great gift to give such as a tip of a job opening, a business opportunity, or a referral they are eager to help share the news with those that matter to them.  A real tribe is one to help others and if the situation arises, to be gracious and accept help.  Being attractive means have a wide and deep tribe ready and willing.

As we begin the next decade, the feeling and necessity of community will be critical to our success.  With information doubling every two years according to Moore’s law and our own human ability to become experts still taking about 10 years, according Malcolm Gladwell, we need our tribe of connections to help us be successful in the work environment.  If you haven’t started your tribe, no worries, like retirement, it is better to start now than not start at all.  Sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Brazencareerist, and LinkedIn are great ways to get connected to those you already know.  As you meet people, make a connection with them and start to add those you feel comfortable with to your tribe.  Start building your tribe by saying hello, asking about the person, showing genuine interested in their lives, and most importantly listen and learn.  They have gift to give, a message to convey or a lesson to teach.  For those you make that real connection with, keep the ties and stay connected.

Employees are attractive not only because of who they are, whom they know and what they bring to the table, but also because the size and depth of their tribe speaks volumes of what type of person they are.  Building good and long standing relationships tells people that they value people and they work hard to “water their plants”.  For those employees who have wide and deep tribes, they know how to connect people and stay connected to them.  Anything worth having takes work including keeping your tribe connected.  For potential and future leaders, a deep and wide fellowship, is anecdotal to how they inspire and lead.  Recently, I was talking to a former VP of mine about the idea of measuring the health of an organization (a extremely large tribe) through an online site so that employees could see the health and real insights of a large tribe called a Company.  People would have to be real, honest and fearless.  It was an interesting conversation but sounded a little too out there for him.  Well, I just discovered glassdoor.com which is an insider’s look at a Company’s tribe, the jobs and its leader.  Glassdoor started its company just three years ago (June 11, 2008) and now has about 1 million members.  I think this concept will grow legs as people start to look closely at the tribes of different companies and ask themselves is this the company I am proud to be apart of?

Another example, and easy extension coming in the near future, is communal rating of leaders by tribal members, similar to what ratemyprofessors.com does today for professors.  Started in 1999 with now over 1 million professors and over 11 million opinions, it is quite surprising why we have not started to see leaders rated already.

As employees build their own tribe of connections, and as they give endorsements and commentary on others, my only caution to the community is to be fair in assessments and feedback.  Feedback that is constructive, respectful and growth oriented is what is needed in this new world if we are going to develop a real community of possibilities.  Anything less than mentor-like and aspirational will speak volumes of the person providing feedback and will be less than attractive.

And finally, for some, building a tribal communal feel comes from things teaching and blogging.  Connecting with readers in intimate ways is something special.  I am not talking about sharing all your inner child secrets, but rather shared experiences, shared knowledge and interest, shared feelings, shared concerns, shared opinions and most importantly shared hopes, dreams and aspirations.  As companies come courting, those who have blogs, websites and other online communities with readers, commentators, followers, supporters and constructive critics are more attractive.

As leaders, we want attractive people on our teams.  For me, I find those that help others, have a wide and large tribe of connections and those that take risks and voice their ideas, insight and knowledge are interesting…and I am interested in interesting.

Being attractive means helping others, bringing others together, and sharing ideas.  Be a Connector and you will be attractive to a whole-lotta folks.

You want to Get Great…You must be willing to Give Good first.

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” – Maya Angelou

Amen.  I am one of those loyal customers.  You know the ones you small business owners salivate over.  The ones that will drive 30 minutes out of their way pay more than the going rate and willing to wait because they feel you are just that special.  When I lived in San Antonio, Texas I would drive for over an hour to Austin on Sundays to just have breakfast at Kerbey Lane.

The reality is that I am not that special.  Many people will go to even greater lengths than I do.  I have a girlfriend that will travel 200 miles to another city to see her favorite hairstylist.  Why do people go through such extremes?

The owners of these businesses treat them like royalty.  Royalty is knowing their souls, not their names, but their souls, what motivates them, what is important to them and truly do appreciate who they are and the fact they are leaving their hard earned money with them.  These are the owners that leave a real gift for them, not a company logo gift, but something that is more unique and special.  At the end of they day, people want to be heard and remembered.

Hear your customers, help them without any expectation for reciprocity and I will tell you it will be like Harvey Mackay’s  Dig Your Well Before You are Thirsty.  I read this book when I was in my twenties.  So you know that was some time ago.  But it left a permanent impression on me.  Help others…not because you want something but because you want to help others.  When you are in need of help people will be there to help you.  That is human nature.

About six years ago I worked with a very smart man, we were peers for a few years and then I was promoted.  There were a few things I remembered about him.  He was always interested in himself, his career and his finances.  He was rarely interested in others and always looking for ways to move up and not living in the moment and working to do well in his own position.  After I got promoted I remember going to lunch with him and he said “you know my wife and I were talking about you.”  I was thinking really what were you thinking?  He proceeded to tell me that with my new position I would be looking to fill one of my open positions and his wife would be a good selection.  While she doesn’t have current experience she would be a good; however she would require working from home.  It would be ideal for her to work from home with their small children.  So maybe work would not be first on the list of important priorities.  How is this helpful for the business and me?  That was one of the last lunches I had with this individual.  I knew for sure he was so focused on himself that he would never get anything good coming to him and frankly I wasn’t interested in helping someone who was unable to see beyond himself.

Customers sense these feelings in business leaders and owners.  If you are heart is not into them, they are not going to be into you.

You Give Good and You Will Get Great!  It is a life truth.  We know it; now practice it.   Go get great!