Who’s in Your Corner?
I don’t know if I could have had the success I’ve had launching my business, if I hadn’t started in Dallas. One of the things I so love about Dallas is that the lines between business and friendship are blurred. I’ve lived in places where you don’t talk business with your friends – it’s taboo. It’s hard to start a business that way. Dallas is the opposite. In Dallas, when you network, when you go to a meeting, you go to connect as people first. To get to know one another. To explore commonalities. The relationship is forged through mutual respect and caring for one another, and the bi-product is that you want to do business together. You want to connect your new friend to your other friends – who you’re also doing business with. In Dallas, you don’t do business with someone you wouldn’t call “friend”.
What a powerful thing that is – friendship. It seems that in our culture we’ve worked so hard to separate our personal from our business lives, but I have to wonder how this has really been a benefit to anyone. If tough negotiations could go from a win-lose-tug-of-war, to seeking out solutions that benefit both parties, would that be such a bad thing? If we had to have “performance conversations” with our friends, might we find a way to infuse them with more compassion? Would we allow a do-what-ever-it-takes mentality to infuse our organizations, if the people we were stepping over were people we cared about? Might we find a way to have more fun at work? To bring a set of shared values? To celebrate keeping our family-lives strong while getting important work done, instead of encouraging one another to sacrifice one for the other? What if?
Last night I had dinner with two colleagues. Two friends. We talked about everything under the sun. And laughed a lot. These are people I trust with my business challenges and with my heart. They hold my feet to the fire, celebrate my wins, are my thought partners and the shoulders I lean on. I am grateful.
They’re in my corner, and I’m in theirs. And if you ask me, that’s good business.
Who’s in your corner?
©OnStage Leadership, 2013
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