Someone Else’s Success

I just returned from vacation today.  While perusing through Flipboard (great iPad/smart phone app), I came across a good article written by Keith Ferrazzi (in the Harvard Business Review, July 11, 2012).

In his article entitled “How to Turn a Relationship Into a Sale”, Ferrazzi wrote:

“…people like people who focus on their success.” 

He goes on to discuss how to effectively grow sales through building quality relationships with people.  It’s well worth the read (

But this quote above got me thinking…isn’t this also true about managers who desire to develop their staff to the next level?  It’s far easier to develop someone who wants to be developed, right?  And to get that develop-ee open to change, managers need to find ways to connect with them.  If it’s true in sales that “people like people who focus on their success”, then it stands to reason that team members needing to be developed like managers who focus on their success.

Ferrazzi states that an effective sales call  is “a success if it advances your customer’s cause and builds the relationship…”  Insert the word “team member” for “customer” in this sentence and read it again.  If you can, in the course of getting a team member to the next level, advance their cause and build a stronger relationship, then you’re well on your way to creating a successful team member and a highly effective team.

So, how do you focus on your team member’s success?

  • Know what their strengths are right now.  Build on those.  Show them how they can mentor others on the team.
  • Know what their weaknesses are right now.  Co-create a mastery plan that will lead to more strengths.
  • Get to know your team member personally.  I don’t mean that you should become close friends.  I do mean you should know what they value, some important things about their family, what are their short-term/long-term goals and dreams, etc.
  • Encourage reading.  What articles, blogs, books are they reading right now?  They “aren’t into reading”? Give them a book list.  Share articles.  Share blogs you frequent.  There are many free pod-casts they can download and listen to.  In coaching sessions, ask what they are learning.  Set an expectation that in order to grow and development, exposure to other thought is critical.

You can do this, manager!  You can turn a relationship into a motivated, effective, and purpose-filled team member!

One thought on “Someone Else’s Success

  1. Great post – building these kinds of relationships allows them to trust you and give their genuine desire to follow you. Leading is about having people follow you. Many are the leaders who force their followers to follow them – better is the leader who influences and cares about those who choose to follow them with their hearts. A team like this can accomplish the impossible.

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