Meaningful Relationships Help You Run a Business
Entrepreneurs know that there are many challenges in running a business, but if as you build your business, you also build strong relationships, the rewards are great.
“Building relationships is one of the strongest skill sets related to leadership effectiveness,” says Jean Leslie, a researcher at the Center for Creative Leadership (CCL). Building meaningful relationships is something worth investing in throughout the life of your business – and those relationships include members on your team, clients, referral partners, vendors – anyone with whom you interact – including those who may not even be directly connected to your business. You may be involved in activities or groups within the community and the relationships you develop with that involvement can often be very helpful. You may be who they immediately think of to refer if someone is building or remodeling a home, or they may have an expertise you need to solve a problem when the inevitable challenges come up in your business. It can be like creating a savings account – you develop meaningful relationships and then the day may come when you need to make a “withdrawal” and the help is available.
Developing meaningful relationships is also important within your team. As Tom Smith bestselling author, states, “Leadership is the ability to facilitate movement in the needed direction and have people feel good about it.” You want a strong team to help build the success of your firm, no matter the size of that team. As the leader of your firm, you need to share your vision and show the way, but you also need to create excitement and enthusiasm within your team so that they have the desire to work to reach those goals.
Jorge Paulo Lemann co-founder, Banco Garantia, shares – “The greatest asset of a company is its people.” The value of your company’s team is why you want to hire slowly and fire quickly. You want to be sure every member of your team fits the culture of your firm and is truly willing to be part of a team – working together for the success of the firm. Many times the first connection someone outside of the company has with your firm is not you, but a member of your team – whether in person or on the phone. When meaningful relationships have developed within your firm, that will be projected when working with clients, vendors, and others and it will prove that your firm’s greatest asset is the people on your team.
Finally, there are relationships you develop with clients – relationships that can last through a lifetime of design work and referrals. That relationship developed with a client is also influenced by everyone with whom they come in contact with who is connected to your business – your team, vendors, etc.
Meaningful relationships developed throughout all areas of your business will lead to your operating a more successful business. A quote from John Maxwell is well worth remembering: “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care”.