Relationships - Do you need them?
I think it's easy to want to be a 'lone wolf' in our careers or feel like we are alone. I've felt like this at times in the past. But...I know how I'm wired. I need others. I need people. I need relationships.
Enter friends and partners
When I was first entering the professional world, I had a lot of friends 'outside of business'.
Along the way, business has helped form and facilitate many good relationships.
Gradually, over time....my best friendships have formed in the business world. Sure, I have other relationships through other organizations - such as churches I've attended or long term friends from college.
But the most solid relationships - the people that I call true friends are in the business world with me.
Out of balance?
I remember talking to my wife (Stephanie) about this a few years ago. Was I becoming 'out of balance' in my friendships? So many of my friends early in my career came from church or were college friends.
Eventually, it all made sense to me. I was 'authentic' no matter who I spent time
with....I didn't put on a different front in the business world. No wonder my best friends came from business. I was going to be myself no matter what. by the way - see my thoughts on 'authenticity' here.
Sometimes, people keep crossing paths. Is it fate? Providence? Coincidence?
I'm not sure, but I pay attention to 'recurring themes' in my life.
Here's some relationships where there's been recurring themes through the years that I paid attention to. Eventually - these relationships become some of the most significant in my life:
John - I kept seeing him every few years at conferences. Eventually, I went to grad school and his company funded my project. He became a lifetime friend and mentor. He and his daughter even came to visit and help with a project when I lived in Ukraine.
Chuck - I was a few years into my career when I met him when I was working for a pharma company. I immediately like him and his wife. Through the years, we kept crossing paths. Eventually, we worked together on several projects and shared very openly and honestly about faith, life, and the deeper parts of our lives. He's also a mentor to me now.
Orlando - We met in the 90's when we were working for the same company, but at different locations. We kept crossing paths through the years though we both worked for multiple companies in different locations. We developed some of the same interests - pigs, training, people development. We started having more conversations about work together. Eventually, we decided to form some business together. His business is TCTS Global and we do training and development for people in ag industry.
Eventually, these 3 relationships developed into authentic friendships and partnerships in business. We do business together as friends and have a high level of trust with each other.
What relationships do you need to pay attention to in your life? Are there recurring themes? Are there ones that keep 'popping back up'? If so, pay attention. A good friend or potential business partner may be the result.