I am also reflecting on the fact that today marks the twenty-seventh anniversary of my commissioning as an ensign in the United States Navy.
Many things have happened in that twenty-seven years. I…
- Completed my service as a submarine officer.
- Married my amazing wife.
- Became the father of two fantastic daughters.
- Worked in research, technical service, product development, and process development in both the plastics and coatings industries.
- Launched a consulting, training, and coaching business.
- Edited and contributed to several books.
Along the way, I have met and worked with some incredible people. More than my experiences, it is the people I have met that come to mind today as I reflect on the last twenty-seven years.
As a result of these relationships, I have the opportunity to do what I do today. For example…
- I am in the Chicago area because of a relationship that began about seven or eight years ago when the contact I have with today's client worked with a different company.
- I co-authored a book (From Bud to Boss), co-created two workshops (Ultimate Communicator and Bud to Boss) that will be delivered across the country in more than fifty cities next year because I had a cup of coffee with my friend and colleague Kevin Eikenberry almost ten years ago.
- I have enjoyed dinner aboard a yacht in Seattle harbor because of friendships I formed in the Navy.
- I have traveled across North America, parts of Asia, and Western Europe because of personal and professional relationships that created business opportunities.
I could continue this list with other opportunities and experiences I have had over the last twenty-seven years because of people I have met and relationships I have developed over time. I won't do that because the list is long, and I run the risk of leaving someone out in my rush to move to my next task.
As I reflect today, I see that technical competence has been a part of the opportunities I have had, and that relationships are the bigger part. It has usually been a relationship, not my skill, that got me “in the door” for an opportunity.
I also see that, in the rush of daily activities, it is easy to move quickly from task to task without investing the time to honor and acknowledge important relationships.
Today, I encourage you to remember the value of relationships in both your personal and professional lives, and to do something in the next 24 hours to honor and acknowledge at least one of those relationships.