In part one, I shared that I often meet frustrated employees who wonder when normalcy will return to the post-recession workplace. My reply is simple: Cuts your company made to stay in business won’t be restored. This is the new reality. I tell them that it’s ultimately up to them to get things moving.
If we viewed our careers as the baton in a relay race, passing through many hands, we would work hard to cultivate relationships—to ensure that the baton doesn’t drop and that we have strong hands to carry us forward. Here’s an idea on how to put the relay back in your career.
List your top 50 relationships. Rank the depth of each relationship on a scale of one to five and do three tasks:
- Identify five people with whom you want to deepen your relationship—how will you do this?
- Identify who is not on the list but should be as you consider your next career steps.
- Determine if there are negative relationships on your list and decrease the time you spend with these individuals.
The next time you complain about your company, stop. Instead, spend that time cultivating your key relationships. By spending your energy on building your relay team, you’ll advance farther and faster than if you focus your attention on the company you work for and what it can or cannot do for you.
I don’t absolve employers of their responsibility to foster a great culture. To achieve excellence, companies must build systems and programs that connect their people, customers, and community. At FlashPoint I emphasize that organizations can build systems that foster communication, heighten performance, and much more. Balance can be achieved when employees work hard to build strong relationships and when companies do the same.
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