Leadership Series: Common Traits of Successful Leaders. Trait #2 Building Strong Relationships With Influencers

Rich Habits
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One of the common traits among the Successful Leaders in my Rich Habits Study was their obsession with building relationships with Influencers.

These could be other senior executives within their company or senior executives in other companies within their industsry.

Some of the common Relationship-Building Tools Successful Leaders used were the following:

Hello Calls, Happy Birthday Calls and Life Event Calls

  • Hello Calls – These are “Reconnaissance” calls. By that, I mean, they are phone calls you make in order to gather information about each Influencer. The more you know about your Influencer, the more opportunities you will have to build stronger connections with them.:
    • Birthday of Influencer and Family Members
    • Names of Family Members
    • Schools Attended by Influencer and Family Members
    • Other Influencers They Have Strong Relationships With
    • Hobbies
    • Passions
    • Interests
    • Personal History – Where They Grew Up, Parents Background, Siblings, Etc.
    • Dreams/Goals
  • Happy Birthday Calls – These annual calls have one important function – they keep your relationship with your Influencer on life support. According to my Rich Habits Study data, after a few years, about 25% of these Influencers will reciprocate and call you on your birthday. This takes the relationship off life support and opens the door to making Hello Calls and eventually, Life Event Calls.
  • Life Event Calls – These are the most important calls you make. Because they are “Emotional-Calls”, they put your Influencer relationship on steroids. The roots to your relationship grow deep and fast, with Life Event Calls. You make Life Event Calls whenever something good or bad happens to one of your Influencers:
    • Family Deaths/Births
    • Marriages/Engagements
    • Promotions/Job Change
    • Family Accomplishments – Career Awards, Child Athletic Awards, Media Exposure, Etc.
    • Ilness/Illness Recovery
    • Bar/Bat Mitzvahs, First Holy Communions, Graduations
    • New Home Purchase
    • New Business
    • College Acceptance

Eye Contact

During physical meetings with Influencers, Successful Leaders make sure to look individuals they are talking to in the eye. But they are very careful to not overdo it. Typically, a Successful Leader will fix their gaze for no more than 5 seconds at a time, then divert their glance for another 5 seconds. More than 5 seconds of eye contact makes certain individuals uncomfortable. Practice will turn this into a habit.

Be Careful What You Say

Successful Leaders vet their thoughts before those thoughts come out of their mouth. They live by the maxim: “Not every thought that comes into your head should come out of your mouth”. Speaking your mind does not mean sharing every thought. Some thoughts are not appropriate and could cause irreparable damage to your relationships – relationships you invested years in building.

No Gossip – Never Criticize, Condemn or Complain

Successful Leaders don’t talk ill of anyone. They know that if they do, Influencers will assume they will talk negatively about them. Successful Leaders say only constructive, positive things about others. This helps build Trust and Confidence with Influencers, who assume you will say only constructive, positive things about them.

Successful Leaders do not engage in negative gossip and they avoid people who do. They engage in only positive gossip – saying nice things about others.

Be Positive & Upbeat

Influencers are Influencers because they have had some level of success in their lives. Successful Leaders are by nature, optimistic, upbeat and have a positive outlook on life. They do not allow negative people into their inner circle. They stay positive – positivity is a habit of Successful Leaders.

Give First

Successful Leaders give first. They have a Service to Others mindset. They know that generosity helps to build trust and respect. But, not only that, Successful Leaders understand that sharing their unique knowledge/skills can act like a dress rehearsal, showcasing their unique abilities.

Ask For Help

Successful Leaders are not afraid to ask for help. In their mind, they understand that this means the individual who helped the Successful Leader may call upon them for help in the future. This forces future contact, which helps make the relationship stronger.

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