Looking down a spiraling circular staicase
Rick Nelson TAG Portrait

More than once in my career I’ve had someone say

It’s not personal, it’s just business. 

That expression has always rubbed me the wrong way. I believe that’s because I take my work personally. 

180 Years of Wisdom

Recently, I had the pleasure, and in hindsight the good fortune, to host my sister, and two of her closest friends as they celebrated each of their 60th birthdays. My sister has known each of these ladies and their husbands for over 45 years. 

What I witnessed was a lesson in what truly matters. Every day there was laughter and storytelling. And every day there was reflection, interest, kindness, admiration, respect, and love.

My sister, Becky, lives in California one of her friends lives in Omaha and the other lives in Columbia South Carolina. They rarely see each other in person, yet to watch them interact, you would have thought they’ve been neighbors all those years.

 In my short time with them, I listened for the things that can keep a friendship so strong, so important, and so intact…. and they were immediately evident. 

1) They are more interested in asking questions, and learning about the other than they are, in telling their own story

 2) They share their successes humbly and describe their failures as lessons which help them achieve the success they have today

3) They are deeply committed to the happiness, and continued success of each other. 

Their deep appreciation for each other is apparent and meaningful to anyone paying attention. 

Business is Personal

It occurred to me that those traits for success in friendship are equally important in our professional lives. If we listen more than we speak, if we share with humility, and we care about outcomes for others, we will reach — and surpass — our goals. Our teams, our bosses, our shareholders, all want us to be personally involved. They want us to authentically care about one another, and they know it makes a difference.

A few weeks ago, one of TAG’s companies, Averro, refined its Brand Promise which reads in part:

We are committed to genuine relationships, reliable results, and rewarding experiences…

This is more evidence that strong company cultures are built on a foundation of personal connections.

All business is personal, and the very best business is very personal.

Being personally invested IS good business. This was a great reminder for me, and I thought I’d share it with you.

I’d love to hear what’s really personal to you in your work life. Please comment on this post.

Ladies, thank you for reminding me what is truly important. And happy birthday!

Birthday toast

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