Are Your Key Relationships Providing You an Edge?

Are you building stronger relationships with your key stakeholders?Are you building stronger relationships with your key stakeholders?

How does a high growth business leader differ from their peers? We talked about one of the key distinctions between high growth INC 500 CEOs and their peers. It’s their ability to build deeper relationship with the right people at the right time. It’s not unusual for them to have long lasting relationships with many of their key stakeholders.

The next relationship skill they have is their ability to evaluate and to attract great talent through their relationships with their employees and their networks. It amazes me how effective INC 500 leaders are at creating a bigger picture to attract key employees to their growing businesses.

I’ve watched CEO’s who started their business in a garage still be very connected to key individuals when their organization grows to over several thousand employees. They remember important events in the person’s life and find ways to make people feel special no matter how busy their own lives get. It could be using small celebrations after work to providing tickets to a football game that people would give everything to attend.

I’ve watched first hand when a startup CEO realizes he is trying to build a new capability have the innate skills to identify the most connected people to help find the right person at the right time. They are always searching for great people. They understand all businesses are people businesses.  They seem to relish the ability to show they still can entrance people when they share their business story.

Finally, INC 500 leaders see relationships as a way of decreasing risk for their organization. For many INC 500 leaders RISK is a four letter word that can change the path of their prosperous business. I’ve seen effective leaders choose the people to manage difficult projects so that they can leverage all their resources more effectively.  They innately know how far to push and when to give a pat on the back.  This is a great skill to have when dealing with early clients and tight deadlines.

I believe innately many of these CEOs see their role as obstacle remover both with clients and cautious employees. I can remember one CEO challenging a client executive who was an obstacle to a large agreement to get out of the way so we could help them with a challenge. His sense of hubris being only out done by the several trips he had spent with the client executive on the golf course.  He knew exactly how far to push the other person and when to add a pat in the back to help the client over the bump of making a large decision.  The question I want to know is how did he know this was the right relationship to nurture in the client’s organization?  When asked, he told me he had several people in his golf foursome who might be required to get the deal closed. Talk about being strategic.

All the INC 500 leaders I know how to build lasting relationships that build a great business. It’s not enough to have great relationship with clients and partners; it’s the ability to get your relationships to help you grow your business. It’s a skill they don’t teach at Harvard Business, but it is a skill that can take you up and keep you on the INC 500 list.

Next Monday, we return to our discussion about what you should expect from your CFO as you grow your business. See you next Monday.

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