Thoughts on Leadership: Friendship is part of success

Friendships are a springboard to success, both in the business world and in our personal lives. The ability to make friends often differentiates the successful person from the unsuccessful one. This type of networking should never be overlooked.  I once interviewed Dave Diaz-Infante, former long snapper for the Denver Broncos, to get more insight on this topic. I asked him what stood out for the Broncos when they won Super Bowls XXXII and XXXIII. His answer: “The one thing that stood out the most was the great level of friendship this football team had. We were just all great friends.”   Likewise, New York Yankees player Derek Jeter, was asked the same question after the 1998 Yankees ranked #1 in the ESPN25 Panel of Experts ranking of the Top 25 Teams: 1979-2004. Jeter's answer: “Our highest level of camaraderie and friendship is what made our baseball team a dynamic organization.”

Good relationships with co-workers, clients and friends take time to build, but can start with something as simple as asking questions. The next time you are trying to build a relationship with someone, ask them about their goals, their family and their hobbies. Let them do the talking.   The 'Innerview'   A technique I often use to build friendships is the Dale Carnegie “Innerview.” The Dale Carnegie Training organization is an expert in employee development - from presentation skills to public speaking, interpersonal relations and other essential management skills.Dale Carnegie's set of 18 questions includes:   What else do you do besides work? What kind of memories do you have about your childhood? What does the future hold for you?   These questions allow me to deepen my understanding of a person, while allowing that person to share their likes and dislikes. I also get to ask myself the following two questions: “What’s one thing I learned about this person that I didn’t know before and What did I learn about this person that makes me appreciate or respect them even more than before Innerviewing them?”

Using this technique, you’ll gather more information to build a friendship in one hour than most people typically try to get out of another person in several years. This information will help you build friendships that last. When you know what makes other people happy, they will want to be around you and help you succeed. Once you know their needs and joys you can help them, which in turn encourages them to want to help you.   As a business professional, you should ask yourself, "What business am I in?” The answer is quite simple: If your business has anything to do with people - and all businesses do - you are in the business of building relationships. Some people think that if they sell things, they are in the business of selling. They aren't. They are in the business of building relationships – because that's how you sell things. Those in management are also in the business of building relationships, because that's how good managers get things done.

I’ve often said I love what I do because of who I get to work with. Some of my dearest and closest friends are at Intero and I value the friendships I have with each of them.

This is why "Friendship" appears within our Intero Value Pyramid, which expresses our vision and values used to empower our agents to achieve their dreams. We believe these core principles are necessary to achieve success.

Intero's "Friendship" value must become a consistent priority if you are to climb the leadership success ladder. Respect and camaraderie will enable us to succeed. Put in the effort and you too will have many friendships that will benefit your success.