I’m sharing today’s Nour Noon Nugget with you from NYC. I flew up here yesterday in advance of a leadership retreat I’m moderating this week. I invested time, effort, and money for ONE relationship. Most people don’t do this, so I’m sharing it in hopes of elevating how you think about and go about investing in your biggest asset: your portfolio of relationships.
One of my favorite relationship investments is geography-based! I often know my travel schedule well in advance, and reach out within 30 days (if not longer) to let my best contacts in that destination know that I’m coming to town. I prioritize the list based on relationships I want to invest in and often recommend a meal, a drink, or some other social gathering.
The executive I met for dinner last night is probably the highest-profile one in my portfolio. He’s accomplished, successful by all measures, and plays in a very different league than most – think Richard Branson, Jeff Bezos, and the likes. We were introduced through a mutual friend (often the best paths), have interacted a couple of times in the past, and seem to get along fine. I think there is more there and would love to find a way to work together.
So, with the help of Yiyang Shen, we did a ton of homework on him in advance. On the plane ride:
- I refreshed my notes of our last interactions,
- Recaptured details about his family,
- Made notes of his focus the last time we spoke,
- Prioritized what he’s been up to based on our research
- The questions I wanted to ask, what he was likely to ask of me along with my most succinct responses
- Where I thought our relationship was on its development spectrum (that’s a glimpse into the 3rd edition of the Relationship Economics book I’m currently writing), and
- The outcomes I wanted most from our visit (“Firm Up Your Ask!”
I arrived at our agreed-upon restaurant early, sent him a text asking if I could order him a drink, and we had a lovely dinner. We left excited about working together and I plan to follow up with ideas most valuable to the priorities he shared.
I once heard someone say that “we’re all the average of the five relationships we associate with most!” So, how are you leveling up your relationships?