If it’s Legal Is it Right? The Five Pillars of Integrity in Business
Just because something is legal doesn’t mean it’s right. And conversely, some things that are right aren’t legal. Clearly, we don’t need a bookshelf full of legal tomes to tell us how to behave. We know in our hearts when we’ve acted ethically and with integrity, and so do our clients. For example, I watched […]Read article
A few weeks ago I interviewed a major British industrialist about “building relationships from the client’s side of the desk.” He had been the CEO of a leading British company for many years, and worked with many outside service providers and advisors during his career. I interviewed him in front of a large group of […]Read article
The Wisdom of Maimonides: Relationships With a Transcendent Purpose
At the wedding of a dear friend’s daughter this summer, Rabbi Ira J. Schiffer performed a moving ceremony. Rabbi Schiffer, who is an associate chaplain at Middlebury College, based his talk on Maimonides writings. Maimonides was a medieval Jewish philosopher whose is considered one of the leading rabbinical thinkers in history. The scene before the arrival […]Read article
The Importance of a Doubting Mind
“I used to work for an old-fashioned rainmaker,” a client of mine once told me. “He had that ‘take-no-prisoners’ approach to sales and customer relationships. His motto was, ‘Sometimes wrong, never in doubt.’” Never in doubt, indeed. It’s one thing to have deep-seated conviction about your views, quite another to obscure the truth with overconfidence […]Read article
The Six Levels of Relationships: Where are Yours?
There are six levels of professional relationships that you should be naturally moving your clients through. The first two are pre-client: Level 1: Contact This is the starting point. We meet someone, have a brief conversation, and exchange business cards. We may stay in touch over the years, but there is little interaction. The individual […]Read article
Your Business Has Only One Purpose—Are You Focused on it?
Peter Drucker had an unparalleled ability to capture the essence of what’s important in management. In 1973, he wrote: “Because the purpose of business is to create and keep a customer, the business enterprise has two–and only two–basic functions: marketing and innovation. Marketing and innovation produce results; all the rest are costs.” We all know, […]Read article
The Three Types of Independence You Must Cultivate with Clients
You need to cultivate and exercise three kinds of independence from your clients: Intellectual independence. Sometimes, advisors and service providers forget that one of the reasons they are being employed is to provide independent perspectives. They want to be supportive of a client at every stage of the relationship, and sometimes this desire compromises intellectual […]Read article
The extraordinary Harry Hopkins–President Roosevelt’s most Trusted Advisor
In January of 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt invited Wendell Wilkie, who had lost his own bid for the presidency the year before, to visit him at the White House. Sitting in front of the fireplace in the Oval Office, Wilkie steered the topic of conversation to Harry Hopkins, who was Roosevelt’s most trusted advisor. […]Read article