Problems arise every day, both personally and professionally. That’s just life. Once you accept that there will be issues in your life, it will be much easier to deal with them when they arise. One of the biggest problems people have is that when issues occur, a majority of folks are paralyzed by them. People focus on the problem, fixate on the issue and get caught up with being in the middle of a crisis. I have had many employees over the years; typically, when a problem occurred, the initial response was, “this is wrong” – “we shouldn’t do it this way” – “I don’t like that it’s this way.”
When employees responded to me this way, I either sent them away or sent them packing. The response that should have occurred was (and is), “if we alter this and do it this way, it will prevent that from happening again.” My current staff isn’t allowed to complain, they can only provide solutions to problems. Well, I guess they can complain, but that’s when I stop listening. However, when they come to me with great ideas and solutions, then I’m all ears. Every person and organization can improve how they operate. That’s just fact. But until there are more optimal solutions, shut up and find a way to make things better.
I love the saying, “you can’t rock the boat when you are rowing it,” because it perfectly captures what I am describing. In any relationship that you possess, when the “you know what” hits the fan, there’s an absolute opportunity to rise to the occasion and provide the aid necessary to come to the rescue. In Relationship Architecture, there are many characteristics that epitomize what it takes to build a remarkable relationship, but if you can bring solutions to a situation, you are truly able to forge great relationships.
My buddy, Lenny, is an unbelievable Relationship Architect. He’s a true “roll up your sleeves, help you solve a problem” kind of guy. He’s not a big business tycoon; he has had no formal training on how to develop new relationships and maintain old ones – he just gets it. When someone needs help, he is there to provide assistance. It’s a great separator in the Relationship Architecture business. It’s something people never forget. I mentioned creating memorable moments in the past – this is a no cost, no frills way of being ingrained in the minds of others.
In the northeast Mother’s Day flood of 2006, Lenny displayed all that I am referencing above. The water level was at the highest it has been in 100 years at the lake – so much so, that the floodwaters entered our house and water was over the beds. It was a disaster – but before anyone could think, Lenny had everything out of the house. He had one crew ripping out the walls and another crew drying, dehumidifying and cleaning. The drying crew literally baked the house and removed all the moisture. Then, Lenny took the bull by the horns, and before we knew it, the house was fixed and better than before.
Lenny is not a contractor. Lenny was not getting paid. Lenny didn’t want anything in return. He was just a friend providing solutions and helping a bud out. Lenny is The Man. If you want to build great relationships – without any agenda or ulterior motives – be like Lenny. By the way, everyone needs a “Lenny”, and if you act like he did, you will be a hero in someone’s life. Something they will never forget. I can never say no to Lenny because of his unselfish commitment to me. Lenny, thank you – you are a true solution-finder and because of that, a consummate Relationship Architect.
Do you have it in you to be a “Lenny”?