On Career Development: It’s About Relationships



If we always helped one another, no one would need luck.

~ Sophocles

Networking is simply the cultivating of mutually beneficial, give and take, win-win relationships.  It works best, however, when emphasizing the “give” part.

~ Bob Burg

All lasting business is built on friendship.

~ Alfred A. Montapert

Recently my children decided they wanted to count the number of companies I have worked for in my career starting with my job as a paperboy for the Seattle Times / Post Intelligencer when I was 11.  Counting my current employment at Alytis, I have worked for 16 different companies, not including my own executive coaching firm.  To my family, that seems like a lot of companies.  To me, it was 16 different opportunities for learning and growth. Each company was like a university and each job was like an advanced course in business and personal development.

As I have reflected on each of those opportunities, it was interesting to note that every one of those opportunities came from someone I knew.  It was through a relationship that doors were opened.  I have pointed this out to my children and to those I mentor quoting the principle I learned from Jared Stewart, Founder and CEO of Influence International that “every opportunity has it’s root in a relationship.”

If you research every successful person, you will see that it was through relationships that made the success reality.  Check out the video produced by Jared’s company describing the relationship that launched Oprah Winfrey’s career.  Watch it here.

Business is about relationships.  If you expand that principle a bit, life is really about relationships.  Take time to invest in them, but be sure to do it “just because” and not with the intent of getting something in return.  Build relationships for the joy of getting to know people.  You can learn something from everyone you meet.  Be curious.  Be interested.  Be real and authentic.  Learn what their true needs are, serve those needs, and watch the relationship grow.  As you do this process of learn, serve, grow you will meet may fascinating people and, quite possibly, those same people may turn around and help you accomplish your dreams.

Jared’s company produced another great video describing the learn, serve, grow cycle for relationships building.  Check that that video here.  (Note – if you aren’t interested in the learn, serve, grow cycle, check out the video anyway to see Travis Pastrana do a back flip into the Grand Canyon on his motorcycle.  It’s awesome!).  For deeper understanding of the principles of relationship building the right way, check out Jared’s book, The City of Influence.  You can find it on Amazon.com.

Choose to build relationships.


2 thoughts on “On Career Development: It’s About Relationships

  1. Steve, You are doing some great work here. Having worked with you at a few of those companies I can attest that your a great leader with a great mind. But more importantly, you’ve practiced what your preaching here. Giving and serving. Keep it up!  I enjoy reading your posts. It reminds me a bit of our daily walk – and – talks at one of those 16 companies.

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