Beyond the Tipping Point: What Makes a Successful Business Relationship Tip

What makes businesses successful?

This is a question that is often asked. It is also a question for which there are innumerable answers. Here are some…

A great idea or innovation? Yes.

An inspiring leader? Yes, that helps immensely.

The right timing in the market? Surely.

The right people? Yes, your team, your clients, your suppliers and your champions will all be key.

Admittedly, there is no one answer. However, for those who are familiar with Malcolm Gladwells’ The Tipping Point there are certainly key factors that determine success. According to Gladwell the tipping point is a signal of a key moment that unifies isolated events into a significant focus and trend. In the context of business, and let’s be more specific here, your business, the tipping point is about all that has gone before regarding you and your business coming together at a defined point in time and space when the “universe aligns” and your business finds and begins to truly fulfill its purpose and potential. In your market, you “arrive”.

This tipping point is often where people will proclaim you became an overnight success. We will likely all know someone or of someone in business who was or is such a wonder. We often forget the road that has been travelled to have that success breakthrough. Usually, there has been an investment of blood, sweat, tears and dogged determination through various challenges, ups, downs and failures.

Your success is determined by the size of your Comfort Zone. Your tipping point arises in and around that point of transformation at the edge of your Comfort Zone. It is at this point where change and transformation happens. You must embrace it. Do that and growth happens. After all, change is inevitable; growth is optional.

At this point of transformation, core to the concept of a tipping point, there is one key and common aspect that is notable…

Relationships

Relationships ultimately mean people. We often cannot breach our Comfort Zone without the assistance of others. That means relationships. And… You get the relationships and, therefore, the people you deserve. For your business or organization to become the success you desire you need to focus on what makes for a great relationship.

A consistent, simple and effective approach to improve your existing relationships and to ensure your future relationships are fruitful is to actually write out in detail the profile of your ideal relationship – whether that is with your own people, your clients, your suppliers and your other stakeholders. That exercise will give you clarity and focus regarding with whom you prefer to engage. Inevitably, just from that focus such relationships will begin to arise more easily and frequently. What you think about you bring about.

Now here is a further distinction on the importance of relationships when it comes to the success of your business and organisation.

We know that organizations are founded and led by people. For an organization to be a success they require a thriving relationship with other organizations and, therefore, people. A relationship with another organization will have originated as a result of an initial key relationship with a person…

A Tipping Person.

Think Napoleon Hill, Steve Jobs, Warren Buffet, Bill Gates, Bob Proctor, Richard Branson, Simon Cowell or that successful business person you know. Their success and/or that of their organizations has been determined by a tipping person or persons. Gladwell describes such persons as the Connector, the Maven and the Salesman.

Admittedly, that person can be a friend or foe, an ally or adversary, a champion or a competitor. Either way that person is a catalyst for your success. Where that person is more adversarial, that “relationship” often spring-boarded them to a positive relationship with another key favourable person.

So, no matter your business – small, medium, large – your success is determined by the quality of your relationships – specific relationships or, rather…

Relation-tips

Picking up on Gladwell’s principle, to reach this relation-tip will likely mean you have had to kiss a few frogs to get there. Everyone who happens in your life is moving you toward your goals and progresses your journey of success. Certainly, from experience, some of those frogs may even be of no apparent value however, in the words of Ann Landers

The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who is of no value to him.

An approach of kindness and a willingness to help all who cross your path will stand you in good stead. A key lesson learned here is that, in the words of a business friend of mine,

“Every dud knows a stud!”

That is, you never know who they know and to whom they would be willing to introduce you – it just may be to that key relation-tip. That key relationship tips the balance in favour of you and your organization and your success manifests more assuredly – it is that breakthrough or watershed point where everything goes from strength to strength.

Such a relation-tip implies that people are definitely getting along. When that happens, then people will come along, they will follow – businesses, people, clients, customers and suppliers. When that happens your success increases, often at a more accelerated rate than ever before.

Whilst you may have undertaken that exercise mentioned above of describing in detail the profile of your ideal business relationships, there are some contributing factors that will attract and retain that key relation-tip that will cascade your success.

1. Vision

If you do not know where you are going it is unlikely many people and businesses will come alongside and want to join you on your directionless journey. As Proverb 29:18 reads, Where there is no vision people perish. To succeed you must lead; to lead you must see; when you see you must share it. When you do, the right people begin to show up.

2. Values

Knowing your values and using them as a filter for all your relationships will pay dividends. A relation-tip is beneficial and often one that is long-term. Most, if not all, significant, synergistic long-term relationships are founded upon similar core values. When you broadcast openly your values you will attract people and organizations of similar values.

3. Passion

Passion is attractive. Passion raises the energy and magnetises relationships who share the passion. Passion is contagious. Be contagious.

4. Empathy

Empathy is essential to create and build rapport; it is a keystone for building long-term relationships. Consider the Oxford Dictionary definition of rapport:

“a close and harmonious relationship in which the people or groups concerned understand each other’s feelings or ideas and communicate well.”

5. Communication

The ability to communicate effectively and efficiently externally and internally – with yourself, your people, your clients, your suppliers and your market is essential. Without communication there is no relationship. Remember that communication is the response you get. To get your relation-tip you must excel at communication.

6. Friendliness

People and organizations alike prefer to associate with people they like and people like them. Your success is dependent on relationships. Move in circles where your ideal client moves; hang around those people and organizations you emulate. Great relationships are often great friendships. To attract such friends you must first be one. The application of the Golden Rule applies here – Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

7. Action

Taking action will keep you moving forward and will lead you to learn more lessons, refine your approach and engage with more people. The more action you take the more attractive you become because action creates attention. Success will not happen without action. Relationships are kinetic not inert.

Whilst these seven contributing factors are important for a relation-tip, the list is not exhaustive. You will likely be able to add to it. Go ahead.

In summary, success is dependent on relationships. Along your journey of success there will be a tipping point that occurs because of a key relationship. That key relationship, whether it is with another organization or business, starts with a key person – a tipping person. That tipping person becomes a pivotal point in your success and that of your business or organization. That tipping person is a relation-tip. To accelerate the manifestation of that key relation-tip and, thereby, your success integrate, establish and openly display the seven attraction attributes. Your success is looming.

Copyright 2011