Sam Keller's TEC Blog

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Building Meaningful Relationships

As social animals, eighty percent of life's satisfaction comes from meaningful relationships with others.

So here's the question: If your relationships are the most important part of your life, what are you doing to make them all they can be?

In his book "The 100/0 Principle" Al Ritter provides us a road map. An excerpt follows.

Click here to learn more

An Excerpt from
The 100/0 Principle
by Al Ritter

What is the most effective way to create and sustain great relationships with others? It's The 100/0 Principle: You take full responsibility (the 100) for the relationship, expecting nothing (the 0) in return.

Implementing The 100/0 Principle is not natural for most of us. It takes real commitment to the relationship and a good dose of self-discipline to think, act and give 100 percent.

The 100/0 Principle applies to those people in your life where the relationships are too important to react automatically or judgmentally. Each of us must determine the relationships to which this principle should apply. For most of us, it applies to work associates, customers, suppliers, family and friends.

STEP 1 - Determine what you can do to make the relationship work...then do it. STEP 2 - Do not expect anything in return.
- Do not allow anything the other person says or does (no matter how annoying!) to affect you.
- Be persistent with your graciousness and kindness. Remember to expect nothing in return.

At times (usually few), the relationship can remain challenging, even toxic, despite your 100 percent commitment and self-discipline. When this occurs, you need to avoid being the "Knower" and shift to being the "Learner." Avoid Knower statements/ thoughts like "that won't work," "I'm right, you are wrong,"

Instead use Learner statements/thoughts like "Let me find out what is going on and try to understand the situation," "I could be wrong, let’s talk some more" In other words, as a Learner, be curious!

Principle Paradox

When you take authentic responsibility for a relationship, more often than not the other person quickly chooses to take responsibility as well. Consequently, the 100/0 relationship quickly transforms into something approaching 100/100. When that occurs, true breakthroughs happen for the individuals involved, their teams, their organizations and their families.

Seven Strategy Questions: A Simple Approach for Better Execution

Successful business strategy lies not in having all the right answers, but rather in asking the right questions, says Harvard Business School professor Robert Simons. In an excerpt from his new book, Seven Strategy Questions, Simons explains how posing these questions can help managers make smart choices. Here are the seven questions Professor Simons suggests:

1. Who Is Your Primary Customer? He emphasizes the adjective "primary". These are the customers to whom you should devote most of your company's resources.

2. How Do Your Core Values Prioritize Shareholders, Employees, and Customers?

Real core values indicate whose interest comes first when faced with difficult trade-offs.

Prioritizing core values should be the second pillar of your business strategy. Most companies with whom I deal would answer "Customers of course". But in practice, it is often not the case.

There is no right or wrong, but choosing and consistently sticking to your choice is necessary.

3. What Critical Performance Variables Are You Tracking? It's your job to ensure that your managers are tracking the right things by singling out those variables that spell the difference between strategic success and failure. Like the preceding two questions, the focus in this question is again on the adjective "critical". These variables should tell where the company is going, unlike your accounting statements that tell you where you've been.

4. What Strategic Boundaries Have You Set? Strategic boundaries, which are always stated in the negative, ensure that the entrepreneurial initiative of your employees aligns with the desired direction of the business. I prime example of failing to do this was the Enron experience.

5. Are You Generating Creative Tension? Sustaining ongoing innovation in organizations is notoriously difficult. People fall into comfortable habits, sticking with what they know and rejecting things that cause them to change their ways. Yet without innovation in a world characterized by rapid change, the company will eventually wither and die.

To overcome such inertia, you must push people out of their comfort zones and spur them to innovate. The author shows how to accomplish this.

6. How Committed Are Your Employees to Helping Each Other? This is a lot of what teamwork is all about. If your organization requires teamwork to succeed (and I believe that most do), then it's critically important to build norms so that people will help each other succeed—especially when you're asking people to innovate.

7. What Strategic Uncertainties Keep You Awake at Night? No matter how good your current strategy is, it won't work forever. So adapting to change becomes imperative. Adapting is critical to survival, but it's extremely difficult to do. With change constantly surrounding us, employees often do not know where to look or how to respond.

Your personal attention is the critical catalyst to focus your entire organization on the strategic uncertainties that keep you awake at night. After all, everyone watches what the boss watches.

Please click here to see the complete article that was published by the Harvard Business School on November 22, 2010. You may want to read Professor Simons complete book, "Seven Strategy Questions"