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Monday, November 10, 2008

Relations, trust and the golden rule

This image is from Bob Littel's NetWeavers International web site. Littel advocates focusing on giving rather than taking in your networking; an altruistic attitude and spirit to give rather than receive. The key to success here is to really put yourself second and focus on the interests of the people around you. Then good things start to happen.

In his most recent Cofebuz blog entry, Defining Success, Tim Klabunde writes:
"I believe that the best way to succeed in life, and business, is to help other people. A life built around helping others will yield not just the joys of relationships, but also the sweet success of achieving your own goals.”
Tim of course is capturing the essence of networking and business success -- you don't succeed (at least in the ethical world) by plotting, scheming, and taking -- you find enjoyment and success in life through trusting, long-range relationships.

There is an irony here, though, in that the best way to build these relationships is to do what you enjoy, and do it well. In other words, to contribute the very things you (apparently) selflessly enjoy the most.

The reason this type of 'selfish' selflessness works so well is that you can sustain it without feeling pressure or discomfort -- and because you do your thing so well, you truly provide a valuable contribution to the community.

Does this work? Yes -- but the irony is you can't succeed by worrying about making it work. When success happens through the relationships, it occurs naturally, and without artificial effort. You receive the call, the opportunity, and the success when it is meant to happen; not when you set it out to occur.

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