Weekly Thought – June 28,2022
Fred valued friendships and worked hard to nurture them. Networking wasn’t a commercial endeavor – it was relational. In our common vernacular we ordinarily use “relationships,” but Fred was partial to “relation.”
Qualities of Excellent Relations
Relations require time – quality time, not just habitual or ritual appointments. This time should be applied within the moving scene of life. In business terms time in relationships is like applying working capital to create the most good at the right time.
Mature relations also require compromise. As unique individuals, these compromises are between people with varying upbringing, traditions, ideas of what life should be, past experiences, and goals for the future. When we can find areas of overlap, the relation may develop more naturally.
I am often asked about man to man friendships, My answer is: “when the little boy in me likes the little boy in you we can begin developing a friendship.” Men generally establish relations through working on projects together, whether in career, community service, or church. One of my long-time business colleague retired. We knew we wanted the friendship to continue so we agreed to serve together on a corporate board. This gave us common experiences, opportunities to strategize, spend time profitably, and deepen an already well-established friendship. We subsequently served on several Christian ministry boards, as well as other corporate consulting situations which lasted until his death.
Another key element of strong relations is the sharing of friends. It is one of my joys to know that a friend of mine should know another one. Often networking has a negative connotation with the idea of using others for personal advantage. I am total disagreement. I am convinced of the profound benefit of connecting others for their own good. One of my friends is considered a premier networker, known nationwide for his ability to identify potential relationships. He constantly keeps in mind “who do I know who should know Fred?” Knowing his desire for good to emerge gives me a great sense of responsibility in these introductions.
The cultivation of relations is not casual, nor random. It requires great thought and discipline. The outcome is difficult to quantify. To stop and see the work accomplished through decades of friendships brings satisfaction. To know healthy, mature relations are part of my life goal of stretching others gives me confidence I can be helpful and productive.
This week carefully consider: 1) What do my friends have in common?2) How do I think about the value of connecting friends?3) Which of my friends should know each other?
Words of Wisdom: “Relations require time – quality time, not just habitual or ritual appointments.”
Wisdom from the Word: “They help one another; one says to the other, ‘Be strong!’“ (Isaiah 41:6 Net Bible)