Magazine article Online

The "R" Word: ...Business Ebbs and Flows, Moves and Shakes, Gets Done or Not, Because of People-Real Life, Honest to Goodness People, Who Must Communicate and Be in Relationship with One Another in Order to Be Successful. (Industry Insights)

Magazine article Online

The "R" Word: ...Business Ebbs and Flows, Moves and Shakes, Gets Done or Not, Because of People-Real Life, Honest to Goodness People, Who Must Communicate and Be in Relationship with One Another in Order to Be Successful. (Industry Insights)

Article excerpt

When 2001 has come and gone, it'll be a year to remember--and one to forget Never has our industry, or the world for that matter, seen a year and an economy in such tumult. I'm writing this article just two weeks after September 11 and nothing seems the same. Indeed, it is not the same--there is uncertainty in the air, and uncertainty often breeds confusion.

Several of us at Outsell were talking about this column and what we wanted to say about relationships well before September 11. Themes often emerge that create fodder for the column and this column was no different. What we didn't expect was that events would conspire to make our themes even more relevant.

1) Choose who you'll be, and from that, choose what you'll do.

2) Focus on relationships with your customers, suppliers, etc.--deep, committed relationships--the "R" word.

The events of 2001 created an accountability wake-up call for our industry and for the women and men and organizations that are a part of it. It is not just the need to now be crystal clear about whom we're choosing to be, as opposed to earlier in the year. Our industry is made up of people and people serve other people. When it gets right down to it, business ebbs and flows, moves and shakes, gets done or not, because of people--real life, honest to goodness people, who must communicate and be in relationship with one another in order to be successful.

REFLECTIONS

One can't control external events. They'll happen whether we want them to or not. Sometimes they're "good" and sometimes not. All we can do is influence within our sphere and make decisions that move us forward in context of what's happening in and around us. But the choices of whom we choose to be, with our selves and with others, and what we choose to do, and how we react are our choices, pure and simple.

During 2001, dot coms fell like dominos after promises of revenue and profit targets went unmet. Our world became at war against terrorism, being explicit that no terrorism is OK. Fortune 1000 firms cut back because their payrolls were bloated for the realities of their business. And in all these instances, the world was all eyes about whether people were congruent with what they said they would do and held to own the consequences of their behavior. And even when someone is being held accountable--or owns their accountability--the issue is who they chose and are choosing to be in doing so.

We said 2001 would be the year of accountability. Opportunities Management, Inc., one training firm we work with, defines accountability as follows:

* You and we will say what you and we will do.

* You and we will do what is expected.

* You and we will hold people responsible for promises made.

* You and we will own the consequences of our choices.

But to do all this you need to be aware, in relationship with self and in relationship with others. We talk euphemistically in our industry. We talk about companies. We talk about end-users. We talk about suppliers, or customers. But what we're really talking about is people, and our connections to them. Whether we like one another, trust one another, are committed to one another, want to help one another, it is all based on how much we're aware that we're in relationship with one another--person to person--people to people.

REALIZATIONS

In the weeks following September 11, what we saw was an industry and a world getting much smaller. Suddenly we were all one in both our caring and outrage, in our compassion and support. People woke up and realized that the petty politics, the 50-hour workweeks, and the contract spats were insignificant in the grand scheme of things. One investment hanker I know emailed me about his realization that he needed to get involved in things other than work. It was no longer just about the next deal, but about whom he was as a person, in total. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.