Go long on your work relationships

Go long on your work relationships. What does that mean? I once heard someone say that if you can’t picture yourself working with someone for 15 years, then don’t work with them for a single day. While not exactly a Lao Tzu-ish observation, there is buried a savory point. 

Everybody we have the pleasure of working with–whether for a few months or several years–is also someone we can maintain a relationship with for decades. A relationship that may bear fruit over and over. The relationship doesn’t have to end just because the working together part ends. 

This is a paradigm shift for many younger folks (and older folks) who may have let their early work relationships expire once they moved on. If you are in a leadership role, I would encourage you to avoid this natural outcome. 

I said in my book that the value of all relationships is in the relationship itself. Meaning, it’s not what they can do for you, but who they are to you that really matters. 

Going long on relationships gives us a benefit I can crystalize for you in this way: When we give our relationships a future, it changes those relationships for the better in the present. Yep, they get better with a simple, and free, mental shift. 

Go long on your relationships. You will be better off.

by Jonathan Wilson

Jonathan is the Head Coach at Sandcastle Company, a Seattle-based leadership training organization. His first book, Future Leader: Rebooting Leadership to Win the Millennial and Tech Future [link], is now available. Jonathan regularly writes and speaks about The New Leader Way, leadership resilience, and the future of work. He has years of leadership experience in both the public and private sectors, a master's degree from Seattle University, and professional coach training from the University of Miami.

Filed under: Leadership

Published on July 31, 2019

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