By E. Brown

If you’ve read this blog consistently, you will quickly come to the realization that I am a big proponent of collaboration and teamwork. For me, this cuts across internal and external business relationships.

Whenever I meet with someone, I am thinking, “How can we work together?” and “How can I help them succeed?” Unfortunately, the feelings are not always reciprocal.

It’s All About MeI was introduced to a young businessman several months back. Although he appeared to be “sharp” and willing to collaborate, I got the distinct signals that this was “lip service” only. This proved to be true later on after repeated attempts to contact him. This man was only interested in relationships that furthered his agenda.

After reading the paragraph above you may say, “He was only being intentional and purposeful in his relationships. Why continue in a relationship when there is no value?” To which I would say, if you are self-centered then this statement is true. However, if you are “other-centered” then every relationship has value.

Everyone deserves respect and courtesy. Even if it is to respond to another by saying, “Sorry, I cannot get back to you — let’s touch base in 2 weeks” or “Got your email — thanks” or “Now is not the best time to talk — can I call you back?”

We are at an interesting time in labor history. A new generation of worker is entering the ranks. Gen Y workers are smart, tech savvy, and interested in collaborative environments where they can feel they are part of something bigger than themselves.

All one has to do is look online or talk to High School and college kids about the way they study and work on projects. It is highly creative and collaborative (See Knowledge Economy vs. Web Economy).

Man (or Woman) In The Mirror
So what kind of worker are you? Are you interested in only yourself? Only interested in furthering your career agenda at the sake of others? Do you have relationships only with those people you can use for your goals?

A day may be coming when you wish you had teammates around you. People who challenge you, care about you, and work with you — not for you.

Rafiki, the shrewd baboon from Disney’s The Lion King, had wise words when he asked, “So, what are you going to do?” Good question for us all. Think about your current relationships, personal and business. Now, what are you going to do?

Let me know in the comments section below.

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