I don’t know how individuals or business can’t evolve! We’re relevant to our relationships when we exchange value with them – never forgetting that relationships are between individuals and not logos. As such, as individuals we must reinvent ourselves, constantly evolving to meet if not exceed the needs or demands of our relationships. Those relationships could be within our organizations in the individuals and teams that report to us, peers whom we work with, and executives we are accountable to. They can also be external to our organizations in the clients or members we serve, partners we go to market with, or shareholders we hold a fiduciary responsibility to deliver a return on their investment with us.
Bottom line is that great relationships are derived from that mutual exchange of value. Otherwise, people will begin to neglect returning your calls or emails, think of you less often if not at all when they have a need, or struggle to see your fit / unique value-add when the opportunity arises. They stop investing in their joint effort with you and before long, you’re deemed no longer relevant, up to date, or “in the know.”
In essence, the only job security any of us have is the perceived value by others who compensate us for that value, on a daily basis!
So, one of my favorite questions from my relationships, which often produce fascinated conversations, is: How have you evolved in the last 18 months?
Here is what I’m looking for:
- Do they really have their finger on the pulse of the market they serve?
- How well do they understand their competitive landscape and position their unique value-add as a “must have,” versus a “nice to have” – often an afterthought;
- How well have they segmented their relationships based on their unique needs?
- How well have they aligned their current capabilities against those needs?
- How intentionally are they in constantly extending their reach with their current and prospective value propositions?
- Do they push themselves beyond their perceived reach to grow, personally and professionally?
- Whom do they listen to, take advice from, internalize, adapt and apply new learnings?
- What do they believe are their next iterations of growing edges?
If you’re not evolving, reinventing yourself, or pushing your organization to think and lead differently, how will you remain relevant?