Thursday, January 15, 2009

Relationship Economics 101

It’s rare that a speaker can plow through material of any kind and leave me behind, or even lagging. No matter the depth or pace, I usually can keep up with the parts that I find interesting. This afternoon Mr. David Nour wasted me.

David was hired by The Company to give a 120 minute motivational talk titled “Relationship Economics.” His recently published book of the same title (Wiley, 2008) has been turning heads. This guy’s background story is head spinning as well. He arrived in the country from Iran in the early 80’s no knowing a lick of English. Now he is paid by Fortune 100 C-level executives to help them build their business networks and encourage their own professional growth. A 1st-generation immigrant story of the nth degree.

There was a lot in David’s talk. I had little hope of absorbing much new material at his breakneck speed. I jotted down a few new concepts, but mostly I was reminded of some of the lessons and best practices of my own professional development that I left behind in the last year.

First, I have not been growing my personal relationships. I have been growing one with Miracle Grow, Full Spectrum Lights, and attention, mind you, but my network is slowly fading to the background through starvation even as my relationship with Quincy grows daily. There’s absolutely no reason why I can’t do both at the same time. David brought up a number of quick tricks that I plan to make habits of. Personal notes; grooming my LinkedIn; finding reasons to connect with geographically distant friends; spending work-hour downtimes like lunch growing internal relationships; and most basically, doing something for others more often – these are just some.

As y’all know, I’ve been looking for more meaning lately. All it took was a couple months of decent blood flow and I’m ready for the next big thing. Maybe the next big thing is a thousand little things.

Or more accurately, maybe the next big thing will be the result of a thousand little things. My last 90 goal was to take over the QA department of The Company. Even though I worked pretty half-assed at it, the Universe still managed to plop most of the department and a promotion in my lap in just over 90 days. My next goal is for something different: I’d like to get offered a job of higher rank. I have yet to be recruited for much of anything. This is a direct effect of a starving relationship portfolio. Heck, I’ve ignored emails from people likely to offer me a job in the past just because I wasn’t in the mood or thought I knew I wouldn’t want it. I’ve got a few grade-A connections, people who I actually like as well, that I have been ignoring. Time for me to step up.

And, you all know me. Once I set my mind to something, even if I put it on the back burner, eventually I get exactly what I want. Or better.

But now, it’s time for dinner. Here’s hoping it’s less exotic fishy than last night’s course!

1 comment:

David Nour said...

Glad you enjoyed the content - sorry we were a little rushed. Remember the 1 percent rule I mentioned from one of my mentors: improve by 1 percent each day and in 70 days you'll be twice as good! When it comes to relationships, consistency is a lot more important than creativity.

You can find a copy of the slides at

Be well & stay in touch,
David Nour - founder
Relationship Economics - Atlanta