relationships

The moment Erin walked through the doors of her workplace, she made a beeline towards her office. She greeted a few people, even exchanged a few “how’s it going?” pleasantries, but never really stopped to hear her colleagues’ answers. She would close her office door behind her and get on with her day’s work. On the door to her office was a sign which said – “My door’s always open for you” – alongside a sign-up sheet to book a meeting beside it. Erin would routinely meet with her staff, help them with their problems, and then turn quickly back to her work. I used to meet with Erin every month and it became clear that she was missing the best kept secret of the most successful leaders that I know. Erin had a demanding job, a big task list that required her to get a lot done each day, and a department of staff that relied on her guidance and assistance. However, Erin did not love the people around her. Yes, she loved what she did, but to her, the...

It is time to go. Leave the business. Exit your partnership. Whether you simply don’t have the heart for the products and services your company offers, the conflict or frustration amidst your partners, or even if you are simply seeing other opportunities out there in the world, it’s time to go. Regardless of why you want to leave, you are getting ready to approach your partners and say those three little words – I am out. There will be lots to talk about with your partners – division of the company, potential buy-outs, starting competing businesses, etc. Notwithstanding these, there are three things from a negotiation and relationship perspective that you should also be thinking about that may guide your next steps and approach: What are the interests? The first thing to keep in mind is to get curious. It is easy, in these situations, to jump into a judger mindset – where you are casting judgements on everything others say. People will typically start by expressing their positions (i.e. I want this, you want that, etc.) and if we come into...

The other day I heard a story about a mom that had decided to go back to school to get her Masters Degree to further her career. She was in the middle of exams and before she started studying, she told her 5-year old, “Mommy has to go study now so that I can do well on my test. Can you promise me that you will not interrupt me and go and ask Daddy if you need any help with anything, alright?” The child nodded in understanding and promised her mom that she would do so. After several hours, the child entered the room, “Hey mommy!” The mom snapped at her child, “Didn’t I tell you to not interrupt me? I’m really need to study! Please go and play with your daddy!” The child left and several hours later the mother emerged from studying only to be confronted by her husband. “Why did you yell at our kid? I sent her in there to say goodnight to you and see if you wanted some coffee to stay awake while you...