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Degrees of Separation

February 3, 2012

It’s an incredibly small world when you start looking at degrees of separation in business.  Go one, two, maybe a few more steps and you can find someone who knows of or has worked with someone you’re looking to do business with. And that means that your relationships and how you handled yourself in them will forever be your shadow.  That shadow can haunt you or promote you – and you make that decision every day.

A broker who is notified that they’re losing an account under management can react one of two ways.  One, continue to deliver exemplary service.  Two, check out.   Given the many reasons that could have driven the decision, such as a new executive’s personal relationships, the first scenario lays the ground for future business opportunities with everyone involved.  The second guarantees not only that those involved won’t consider them for future opportunities, they will recommend against them whenever asked with the specifics. 

On the other hand, let’s look at an employee who is “transitioned out” due to management changes (their manager is replaced and the new manager has their own team).  Again, two choices.  One, they conduct themselves professionally, don’t badmouth the company or management, and work to make the transition seamless.  This stands out, and will be remembered and talked about around the cooler.  It can lead to opportunities or clench the deal.  Or two, they check out.  They badmouth everyone involved.  And do nothing to assist the transition or worse, sabotage it.  Again, this will come back to bite. 

Bottom line, you determine everyday what kind of relationship you’re developing – and you need to decide if you’re going to build the relationship, or blow it up.  Your choice – and the results will be right behind you for the rest of your career.

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