A few days ago the office was a buzz with restaurants in Toronto “deconstructing” some of our favorite dishes and presenting them in a unique manner. This can take a wide range of options but we all loved a mixologist take on a Canadian Caesar, with includes bacon and a cheese curd and then serving you a plank with a glass and all of the ingredients on it to make your own drink according to personal taste. Our own Laura Richard says everything just needs to make its way from the plank into the glass… including what is left of the bacon assuming she has not already eaten it all while making the cocktail.
The Buzz Has Not Worn Off!
This week we find ourselves still buzzing from the conversation. The concept of “deconstructing” is actually quite paramount to what we do. We build, analyze, leverage and deconstruct #strategy and the elements of it daily. When we started talking about the #WordOfTheWeek yesterday being #Credibility, we thought we might have some fun and take the time to tip our hats to deconstructing the single most element of professional human interaction.
While Others Focus On Relationships, Focus On Earning Credibility
We hear it all the time. Relationships matter in sales and business development more than they have in decades. We agree with this, but only to a small degree. We loved the way James Chalmers said it yesterday “Relationships in our business means the CEO takes your call and you get to pitch them something over lunch. Credibility means the CEO calls you and over lunch asks you to solve a problem for them.” Time and time again our team sees this in action.
You do not build or earn credibility by always being agreeable. You have to be willing to speak up when you disagree. This means that if you are looking to build or earn credibility, you will not be liked every day. As James continued, “You can’t be an a__hole, because nobody wants to deal with an a__hole. It has to be about performance rather than being liked. I like being liked, but I love being a part of game changing results.” In some ways, perhaps James cares too much about the performance side of the equation. Thankfully we have a great team to refine his big ideas and deliver for our clients.
The Final Bell
It is a fine balance. You need to build trust in order to get to a point where clients are genuinely ready to partner and have extremely transparent and open conversations. Building trust comes from building relationships. You must also never lose sight of building and earning credibility. Often it means sharing a position that is not popular or taking the status quo to task. Relationships build a network of friends. Credibility builds careers!