The best advice I've ever been given.

Remember: It’s ”just people doing business with people.”

These were the words shared by a veteran territory manager at Turbo Resources many years ago. As a young territory manager, I turned to Wes who became my mentor, coach and trainer. He kept things simple, yet I respected him as an extremely influential and ingenious manager.

“Just people doing business with people,” was the most profound statement I had heard. Not complex or lofty, just easy. His belief was that if we just applied more of a caring attitude to how we do business (and life) things would be more straightforward.

Wes shared this perspective in the context of dealing with business issues, but what I’ve learned is that it’s true for everything we do in life. In fact, I use this statement to directly impact the executives I coach. And it sounds even simpler when you type it out: we’re all people with the same fundamental goals to be liked and succeed. Social Enterprise is not a new concept; certain businesses have existed to make a profit while creating social, environmental or cultural value; a big picture that encourages achieving better for the community at large. But where is the breakdown happening? Why isn’t it just this simple?

Perhaps there we should add this extension to the comment: let go of your total ego domination or “TED.” TED encompasses things like fear, embarrassment, threats, arrogance, anger, jealousy, envy and the like. It’s a bad case of TED is the big head or cocky syndrome. It comes in many forms, but none of which are good. Get the picture?

I’ve learned to identify when people have lost sight of achieving good business with each another. I’ve also learned that every time I see this happening, TED is the root instigator. TED doesn’t support the idea of “people doing business with people”. It revels in obstacles, impediments, confusion and disarray. People, who operate with TED, whether consciously or otherwise, do not want to succeed.

Here is the scariest thing to consider: TED is extremely contagious. Think about it. If you’re in the middle of a business transaction and you get the whiff of TED from someone else, you’re more likely to clam up in the same manner. But resist it. Drop the ego. Work together. You’re just people doing business with people. I was fortunate to learn this lesson early in my career from a veteran. The good thing is that no matter where you are in your career, you can cure TED. Here is the magic serum: keep it simple, care about people and when you feel your inner TED coming out, take a minute, regroup. Remember the Golden Rule and the fact that “it’s just people doing business with people”.

“Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success.” - Henry Ford

© 2013-2014 R. Todd Millar. All rights reserved.

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