Do I Know You? 

Ever been hanging out with a group or a friend and have a moment where you’re thinking, “Do I know You?” You know that you share the same contacts and move around in the same circles but you’re asking yourself, “What do I know about these people or that person beyond six degrees of separation?” 

Developing meaningful relationships is a challenge in a technology driven, fast paced society. Everyone’s making power moves to advance their careers and the pursuit for the next big score could be in the next person you connect with. So every every encounter we must have our elevator pitch in our holster and ready to fire off once we’re past the unpleasantries of having to make small talk and the dreaded eye contact that accompanies it. 

We both fire off our “who are you’s” and “what do you do’s” and ding, ding, ding, we’re a match! I know who you know, bada bing let’s do lunch. Oh the adrenaline rush from the hunt is addictive, isn’t it? However lunch isn’t about getting to know “who’s” seated across from me. It’s a recon mission of getting to what and who you know and what resources you have that benefit me

We continue to connect but it’s on a superficial level because the foundation of the relationship is built on what this person does and not who they are. I’m not saying we need to have a kumbaya moment with everyone we meet however, I am saying that we need to be intentional with who we connect with and identify the acquaintances that lead to long term relationships that are mutually beneficial. 

Collaboration is necessary for many entrepreneurs but most fail to successfully integrate skills, knowledge and experience for mutual benefit because the time was not spent in developing a meaningful relationship from day 1. This level of superficiality is great for networking events and connecting over drinks but it can be disastrous if we’re required to collaborate on an opportunity and I learn we both have AI personality traits and both are determined to be like Sinatra and will only “do it my way”.  

The next time you’re networking or just looking to meet new people be intentional. Make an effort to get to know who the person is beyond what they do. 

  • Connecting with someone soley on brand recognition will not validate YOU. Who you are and what you represent has value. Be excellent and consisten in your work and efforts and the right opportunities through the right relationships will come. 
  • If connecting on social media, move the conversation offline and meet in person. If they’re not local, Skype or FaceTime. Social media is virtual and many create the persona they know that will attract people who chase titles and access over character and abilities. 
  • Take your time. You don’t have to build deep personal relationships with everyone you meet or do business with. You must however, develop a vetting system to mitigate risks. You must have set qualifiers that you don’t deviate from to determine if the relationship is a good fit and if collaboration is a goal, you both benefit. Synergy matters. 

Trust is built when time is spent building meaningful relationships within your circle. Knowing one’s character and level of integrity can save you from unethical behavior and decisions that can traumatize you and cause irreversible damage to your brand. If someone has been in your circle over 6 months and you are asking yourself, “Do I know you?”, now is the time to develop or dismiss. 

Making Moves And Going Nowhere

You see the post and you’re thinking, “They’re at all the right places with all the right people, they’re making BOSS moves.” This virtual world allows anyone to create any persona they choose with a snapshot that measures a moment in time of what the account holder wants you to see. The narrative of “I’m grinding”. 

Social media can be a tricky place. Many interchange motion with progress and being busy with being productive and believing it’s a formula for success. Wouldn’t that be great if being busy was the key to success? One could arguably state that one determines their own success. There’s some truth to this however, all success has outcomes that are evidence of productivity.

The difference between a real boss and a social media BOSS is that a real boss MUST deliver and they carry responsibility for those who that work for them and if they’re a great boss, they invest in their human resources. 

So let’s BOSS up! Every decision you make as an entrepreneur must be intentional. From your social media post to the people you seek to network and collaborate with. You can get off the treadmill and have your motion count for more than exhausting your finances and resources. You can have measurable outcomes and experience success that shows up in your bank account. After all, this is the goal of being your own BOSS. 

Here’s some tips to help you make diamonds from your grinding. 

  1. Be Strategic. Plan and don’t stop planning. Your actions, relationships, social media content, events and most importantly create an action plan with your business plan. How you spend your time and who you spend it with must be intentional and always with the end in mind. 
  2. Implement your plan. A plan is worthless to you if you don’t implement. Before implementing, break your plan down so that you aren’t overwhelmed. Create actions steps that lead to monthly goals being reached. “Mini successes” motivate. Celebrate completing your actions steps and check them off your list. It keeps you dreaming big when you see the needle moving toward your plan materializing. 
  3. Don’t be distracted. Distractions will come, I promise! Opportunities to “do lunch” or “we need to do something together” are distractions if they’re not parallel to your plans. Every task or action on your plan is intentional and every detour is a delay. Bosses deliver. 
  4. Who’s in your corner? I’m huge on support systems. Having someone in your corner who believes in your ability to build a successful business is important. We all need a cheerleader. There’s more no’s than yes’s and more disappointments than incremental victories, so find an accountability partner who will hold hold you accountable and motivate you the days you can’t motivate yourself. 

Make your efforts matter. Don’t be in a perpetual state of continuous motion with no productivity. Newton’s Cradle is mesmerizing to watch but moving and not going anywhere is a death sentence to your business, so BOSS up! 

Lost In Translation 

It’s day one on your job and you’re excited to start. You’ve had your orientation with HR and you are introduced to your department. Your manager greets you and begins the run down on how to do your job. They are done talking, you go to your desk and you have no clue to what they told you to do.

Not to worry, it’s not you it’s them. George Bernard Shaw, a playwright was quoted saying, “The greatest problem with communication is the illusion that it has been accomplished”. As a former manager I find this to be very true.

Communication only happens when the information which has been given by the sender has be understood by the receiver. When you are in leadership or supervisory, role it is your responsibility to make sure the receiver has decoded (comprehended) your message, information or instructions. This can be done by having them give you feedback (encoding) on what they’ve told or asked to do. If they can not do this, then the message was never communicated.

I had to learn this the hard way.  I was constantly frustrated with my staff not following through or delivering expected outcomes. I was able to correct this problem by asking my staff to tell me what they were asked to do. If they couldn’t, I would find a way to communicate it differently until they were able to tell me with comprehension.

Speaking the language of your staff, team or coworkers and allowing time for mental modes and jargon to be learned removes barriers to communication often experienced by new hires or new team members.

I learned a few lessons from this experience.

  1. Talking is NOT communication. Just because you ask for it to be done, it doesn’t mean it will be done right.
  2. No matter how big your vocabulary may be, it’s all lost in translation if who you are communicating with doesn’t speak your language. Lose the jargon!
  3. If there’s no feedback, you’re assuming you were understood. We all know what happens when we assume…
  4. Speak with the receiver in mind and how they interpret information and use the best channel to communicate to the receiver.