Gratitude, Relationships, Commitment

We each have received the gifts of many relationships over the years as we have grown in our influence and impact. Of course, we can choose to not build on those relationships, but I believe we do so at our peril. 

These relationships are satisfying as friendships and collaborative partnerships, but many of us also need to focus on ways to grow our own businesses and/or careers. Getting “growth help” from others requires the real nurturing of these relationships, as people do not normally provide proactive help to others unless they have come to know and trust them.

A great friend of mine (we’ve known each other for 15 of my 17 years in executive search), is a perfect example of the power of committing to a relationship. Bertha Masuda is a world-class Compensation Consultant as a Partner with Compensation Advisory Partners (CAP), having built her own firm (Vivient Consulting) over 17 years before merging into CAP earlier this year. Bertha and I have always stayed connected over the years and we had a nice celebration lunch after her firm was acquired. 

Bertha was working on a compensation study with a company that was working hard to enhance the sophistication of its processes and leadership. They needed a new head of Human Resources and Bertha referred me to the CEO who selected our firm and me in comparison with other firms being considered.

Of course, I am most grateful to Bertha for having referred me (and I encourage any of you to consider her when in need of her consulting help), but there were two other cool learnings/observations to remember from the experience: 

(1) Based on her referral, I had a serious responsibility to make Bertha look good for having referred me – I made every effort to approach the relationship with the CEO in the most authentic and genuine manner possible as I wanted to be sure I was mirroring Bertha’s own relationship approach; and 

(2) It quickly became apparent that this CEO was exactly the kind of person that I love to serve – genuine/humble/honest, open to learning, and realistic while also idealistic. This came as no surprise to me because those qualities also describe Bertha well, so it follows logically that this CEO was likely to match up well with this profile. This great match was also reflected in a very successful (and fast) search outcome with a great new leader joining the CEO’s team. Referrals from those we trust have a much higher likelihood of success.