Associate with the Right People


Your outlook upon life, your estimate of yourself, your estimate of your value are largely coloured by your environment. Your whole career will be modified, shaped, molded by your surroundings, by the character of the people with whom you come in contact every day.  – ORISON SWETT MARDEN

Everything in life and business is relationships. Everything you accomplish or fail to accomplish will be bound up with other people in some way. Your ability to form the right relationships with the right people at every stage of your life and career will be the critical determinant of your success and achievement and will have an inordinate impact on how quickly you achieve your goals.

The more people you know, and who know you in a positive way, the more successful you will be at anything you attempt. One person, at the right time, in the right place, can open a door for you that can change your life and save you years of hard work.

No One Does It Alone

A key part of goal setting is for you to identify the people, groups and organisations whose help you will require to achieve your goals. To accomplish goals of any kind, you will need the help oflots of people. Who are they?

There are three general categories of people whose help and cooperation you will require in the years ahead. These are the people in and around your business, your family and friends, and people in groups and organisations outside your business or social circle. You need to develop a strategy to work effectively with each group.

Your Key Business Relationships

Start with your business. Who are the most important people in your business life? What is your plan to develop higher quality relationships with them? Make a list of everyone who works inside and outside of your business – yourboss, colleagues, coworkers, subordinates, and especially, your customers, suppliersand vendors. Which of these people have the greater ability to help you or hurt you in the achievement of your business or career goals?

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Sometimes, I ask my audiences how many of the people present are in customer service? Only a few hands go up. I then point out that everyone is in the business of customer service, no matter what they call it or what they do.


Identify Your Customers

A customer can be defined as anyone who you depend upon for success and advancement in your job or business.  A customer can also be defined as anyone who depends on you in any way. By this pair of definitions, almost everyone around you is a customer in some way.

For example, your boss is your primary customer at work. Your ability to satisfy your boss will have more of an impact on your future, your income, and your career than any other single skill you have. If you displease everyone else but your boss is delighted with you, you will be safe and secure in your job. If you please everyone inside and outside your company but your boss is unhappy with you, that problem alone can short-circuit your future.

Your Customer Service Strategy

One ofthe best-strategies you can use is to make a list of everything that you believe that you have been hired to do. Answer the question, “Why am I on the payroll?” And write down everything you can think of. Then, take this list to your boss and ask your boss to organise this list in order of his or her priority. What is most important to your boss? What is second most important? What is third most important? And so on.

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From that moment onward, discipline yourself to work on your boss’s top task all day long. Make sure that whenever your boss sees you or talks to you, you are working on what he or she has told you is his or her top priority for you. This will do more to help you in your career than any other single decision you make.

Two Key Qualities for Promotability

Inasurveyreported in Success Magazine, a few years ago, 104 chief executive officers were presented with twenty qualities of an ideal employee and asked to select the most important. Eight-six percent of the senior executives selected two qualities as being more important for career success and advancement than any other. First was the ability to set priorities; to separate the relevant from the irrelevant. Second was the ability to get the job done fast; to execute quickly.

Nothing will help you more in your career than to get the reputation for being the kind of person who gets the most important job done quickly and well.

Hard Work on the Wrong Task?

But here’s the catch. Many people are working very hard at their jobs, but they are not working on what their boss considers to be the most important job. The sad fact is that if you do an unimportant job very well, this could hurt your career and even threaten your job.

As conditions change, keep the lines of communication open with your boss. Be sure that what you are doing is still your boss’s top priority. And then make a game of doing it fast. Nothing makes a boss happier than to have someone who gets the job done quickly. Be sure that you are that person.

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Your Other Key Customers

Your coworkers, who also depend on your work, are your customers as well. Go to each one of them and ask them if there is anything that you can do to help them. Ask them if there is anything that you could do more of or less of, anything that you could start or stop doing that would help them do their jobs better.


The fact is that people think about themselves and their own fobs all day long. Anytime you offer to help people to do their jobs better or faster, they will be wide open to helping you later. The Law of Sowing and Reaping is not the Law of Reaping and Sowing. There is a particular order to this law. First you put in, and then you get out. First you sow, and then you reap.

You should look for every opportunity in your work to help people and to do nice things for others. Every honest effortyou make to help other people will come back to you in some way, at some time, and often when you least expect it. The most popular people in every organisation are those who are always willing to lend a helping hand.

The more the people next to you, above you, and below you like you and support you, the more you will get paid and the faster you will be promoted. Develop a reputation asa “go-giver,” as well as being a go-getter.

Look for ways to be a valuable resource to the people around you and they will automatically look for ways to helpyou and support you when you most need it.

Culled from GOALS by BRAIN TRACY


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