November 15, 2012
From sales to leadership to operations, the rock stars of business multiply the value of everyone they come in contact with. They share intangibles with them to improve their resume, and in return, are rewarded with loyalty and appreciation. Simply putting in hard work and "adding value" is no longer enough, not in the constant change we are all living through.
There are three ways we can grow others' potential at work, be they co-workers, customers or even prospects or industry colleagues:
1. Share Knowledge - You should always have a mentee, someone that you are counseling with either your experience or specialized knowledge you've invested time to acquire. You should share knowledge with a sense of boldness, and at the same time, the humble nature of the greatest teacher you ever had in school. You'll realize that you'll never get dumber by making someone else smarter.
2. Share Your Network - I believe your network of relationships is your ultimate asset, and too often we hoard it for a rainy day. Every week, you should connect three people that "should meet." Often, people in your life simply need the right introductions to gain traction or solve their most pressing business problems. From now on, when someone gives you their business card, talk to them until you can write down someone he or she should meet on the back of the card. Then quickly act on it with an email, phone or in-person introduction.
3. Give Encouragement - If you are a manager, catch people doing something right, then talk about them behind their back. When it comes full circle, you'll give them confidence and improve their self-image. This grows their potential. As you encounter people in your industry that are struggling, help them focus on their minor victories, herculean efforts and never let them forget about their greatest assets. This will help clear their mind of worry, and focus on tasks at hand.
Do all three of these in every business relationship you have, and soon you'll realize that business isn't hard anymore. It's fun. It's meaninful. And later, when you retire, you'll look back on all you did and "enjoy it a second time."
From my recent keynote address for the wonderful leaders at Acosta.Tweet