Do what he can that is.  It is the wise man who knows he cannot do it all. Thus no matter business or life, moving into your true opportunity begins with connecting. Connecting often, purposefully and well.

Business success comes down to hard work and relationships. If this is true and you believe it, I am pretty confident you are doing the hard work.  But what are you doing about relationships and what kind are you seeking?  What kind of relationships are you developing on purpose and with intention, to expand your effectiveness and impact?  Are you able to move beyond your own beliefs and assumptions of what is and /or what is possible? Specifically do you have a plan for connecting with multiple groups and people to expand your understanding and knowledge of the active culture and environment in your business? The state of things from the perspective of other important stakeholders?

As a parent I made it a practice to gently remind my children that their life would be the people they chose to have in it. That in choosing connections, friends and associations this reality never ends, in both our personal and professional lives.  You will want to go where they go and aspire to do as they do all within the joy of friendship, sharing, supporting and learning from one another. This simple fact bears monitoring as we progress and hope to move into our true opportunities.  Not the day to day business blocking and tackling of handling what is in front of us.  No, moving into our opportunity through learning and listening to all that is moving around. Too often we become busy and distracted and in the habit of acting only on what is in front of us. Those daily routines we have come to rely on.  Problem solving, fire fighting, chasing new business and new revenue. Accepting our accepted definition of who we are as a team or organization and labeling people and things until we are at risk of dealth by cliche! Reduced to the mediocraty of making tacit little deals with ourselves of what is possible and what is not. Perhaps we might be better served should we intentionally connect with different groups to regularly digest a richer honest diet of what is thriving, wilting or possible around us.

Most business owners seek out and associate with people of like mind and achievement. People who they are comfortable with, and who like them, are celebrating their successes. But I do not generally see them seeking out people who are likley much closer to the reality of their success. Closer to elements of their customers transactional experience and its impact on their company brand value.  Stakeholders like employees, customers and advisors who can bring  them a more objective and grounded reality of the cultural current state of things.  Too many leaders isolate themselves and do not spend enough time connected to these groups as it is likely to challenge their assumptions, leave them with a messy feeling, out of their comfort zone, out of control or awkward. But not doing so is pretty much a guarantee that over time their growth and progress as a leader will flatten.  Peer to peer groups and networking opportunities are valuable, but there is no better source of the truth than your employees, customers and objective advisors. Not turning to these groups for truth and objective input because of day to day challenges, a tight schedule or fear is making an excuse when a reasoned choice is called for. So how are you doing?

Here are some questions to ask yourself and reflect on.

  • Did you focus on the transctional or the interactional side of your job today?
  • Did you connect with another today with the intention of talking about cultural engagement and performance or transactional performance?
  • How often do you seek out the input of customers, employees, team members, work colleagues, centers of influence, suppliers?
  • Have you recently shown someone you normally do not interact with respect, give them adequate focus and time to carefully listen to and hear what matters to them?
  • Do you stay curious enough to hear another’s complete message without formulating your response or interrupting? Hear not just their words but their story so well to advance your insight and understanding of their intention, their spirit, their heart?
  • Did someone inspire you?  Were you moved by their choices or their courage?
  • What will you do with what you have learned through these experiences?  Will you be content to tell the story or will you incorporate what you heard and learned into your decision making, your future connections, your leadership and your life?

Best of luck

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