Over the last few days I was speaking with several colleagues how one would go about building a successful enterprise or achieve success in a project. There were of course, many varying views of what constituted success and what impacted that success.
The basic principles were thrown about in the mix, including things such as hard work, dedication and passion. It was what one lady said that made me realize she truly understood what it takes to be successful. I found myself listening intently as she described leveraging relationships and trusts that she had built over her career.
She knew that success was rooted in relationships and the trust built in forging those relationships. Sure hard work, dedication and passion does play a role but hearing someone speak about the dynamics that relationships affect decisions, direction and ultimately the success or failure of any project was pinned as the underlying theme of the conversation.
“Relationships are important and ultimately one of the driving factors that allow us to succeed.” That’s what I took from the conversation with her and boy was she right on the money with that one statement.
In an online world relationships are easier to build. Social networks provide an environment where you can connect with likeminded individuals and groups relatively easily. However, just because you are a member of the same online group or follow someone on Twitter does not necessarily mean that there is a nature of trust built into that relationship.
Having built the relationship is the starting point. Establishing trust in the relationship provides the leverage to use the relationship to build success.
Relationship building starts with great communication that goes beyond the marketing and promotional messages that many people think will create success. Engaging communication that offers a balance will enhance the relationship and create a foundation that will allow the relationship to grow into one that is more trusting and meaningful.
Seek opportunities that will encourage interaction between yourself and those in your social network. Being active, helpful and courteous to those enhances your social influence and credibility amongst peers. This goes a long way towards establishing a sense of trust in what you have to offer.
With trust comes influence. Using this influence throughout your social network creates opportunity. Capitalizing on the opportunity creates success. As simple as this may sound, it is perhaps one of the most difficult things to realize.
As perception changes throughout the relationship and you find yourself in a position to influence others around you. Whether providing support for or an advocate against certain actions, the level of influence you will have will be multiplied by the level of trust that you have built in the relationship, allowing you to play a key part in the shaping of opinion.
Remember that success comes directly from the relationship but it doesn’t happen in isolation. Success still requires motivation, dedication, passion and hard work. Combining this with an established trust and by leveraging this trust into opportunity, success will occur.