Leadership_Icon copyI always take my car to a local mechanic in the next village. I have done for 14 years. Last Christmas Eve my exhaust went, and I knew he was going to be closing soon for the Christmas break.

I went along to see him to ask when was the soonest he could fit me in.

He looked around the forecourt at the many cars awaiting attention and pointed to a series of vehicles which had been dumped outside his doors that morning with post it notes on the dash demanding urgent work. No pleasant requests, just demands. No understanding of the pressure and work load he was under. He did my car there and then and said if the other customers didn’t have the courtesy to ring or ask then they could go to the back of the queue.

I have always asked him if he can fit me in and not to worry if not and he has always made every effort to do right by me – we have a sound relationship built on trust and respect.

What are the relationships like in your business? If you want something doing by another department how well do you know the person you are asking? Do you invest in the relationships outside of the transactional piece of work you are doing?

In his classic book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, the late Steven Covey talks about everyone having an emotional bank account, from our friends and family to our colleagues and customers. Too many withdrawals and you’ll be overdrawn, keep making deposits and you’ll be in credit – allowing the occasional withdrawal.

  • Business is done on relationships, how are your relationships and are you making more deposits than withdrawals?
  • Are you in the red or in the black?

Relationships aren’t just important in business; they are business – the better your relationships, the better your business.