With a small business that spans two distant countries of the world, despite having a great team in both France and Australia, long distance travel is inevitable. And apart from the leadership requirement to be in France, we simply adore spending time in our beautiful commune of Cardan with friends and team there. Personally, I love the travel – the mobile phone is off, I get the opportunity to sample some more “competitor” red wines, I can have quality thinking time and best of all I get to read. One of my mentors taught me a long time ago that if you want to lead, you have to learn to read – and he wasn’t talking fiction!! In the last 24 hours, I got a reminder that leaders also need to continue to learn from Ken Blanchard and Mark Miller’s book “Great Leaders GROW”.
At Paradise Rescued, we know that as the owners, we have to grow first in order for our team to grow. One of our values is Continual Improvement and Innovation, a second is Sustainability. Both point strongly towards the need to grow our leadership – the distances in our business simply magnify that need.
Building successful relationships and partnerships is a key aspect of what a leader has to do. We believe that more can be achieved within an environment of a strong partnership than the opposite, ie continual confrontation. Paradise Rescued always likes to work with partners who want to be there for the long term with both organisations benefitting from working together successfully. That’s why we always promote our partners!
So here are 6 key steps, which interestingly I wrote just prior to watching the Lion King film back in January which inspired one of our most popular blogs.
- Smile! Yes you read that right, smile! Start a relationship as if you want it to work. How many times do you go somewhere and get the “miserable face” welcome – what does that ever achieve? So start with a smile.
- Be open. How often in the “commercial world” are we discouraged from sharing reasonable information? If you withhold critical information, how can your prospective partner offer their best solution for your circumstances? Tell it as it is!
- Look for opportunities. If we want to get the maximum contribution from someone or an organisation, you have to seek out what they might do best for you. In short, ask lots of interesting questions and check out their full capability.
- Collaborate. The contractor mentality of today’s world pushes us towards “abdicating” everything to someone else on the assumption that they can do it all without clear guidance and information on what you want. Help your new partner to understand where there are your requirements and restrictions.
- Sustain. As a partnership grows, help maintain that relationship. Affirm and respect what they do well. People love compliments. If a supplier does a great job, tell them so. I can guarantee that next time you ring up with an urgent request, you will get immediate service. Praise people for what they do.
- Think Long term. How often do we set something up for today and forget tomorrow. Could your partner’s capabilities develop more fully to support you or your business? Could they give you more help and leave you to spend more time on other important activities? What do you want the future to look like?
As we always say – “Begin with the end in Mind”. What do you want your partnership to look like? If the answer is a strong long term ongoing collaborative partnership, then your leadership and behaviour has to reflect that too.