The lowdown: This Power Relations summary for the book by Andrew Sobel and Jeremy Panas teaches you 26 laws to create and maintain the right relationships as you move on and excel in life.
When it comes to business, you cannot go it alone. The entire concept of business and life generally, requires you to interact with other people in a competitive environment to get that deal over the line. The frequency and the rate of success you achieve is entirely dependent on the kinds of relationships you form and the values you hold dear. Building these kinds of relationships requires some effort on your part and some reciprocity from the other party.
The place of having a close, tight-knit network of friends and similar thinkers that are fully dedicated to your goals cannot be overemphasized. It is never too early to start to build this network because you might need these people sooner rather than later. This group, to function properly, has to be carefully selected. It has to have the right mix of skills and ideologies that complement yours to yield the best results. Take, for example, Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak, working together to make Apple the multinational corporation that it is now. Jobs was an expert salesman, while Wozniak was the tech guru that took care of the engineering bits of the company.
There were numerous lessons to pick from the book but to summarize it into three; it would be –
- You give and receive in a power relationship.
- You need to maintain certain core values to create and sustain a power relationship.
- Show interest in your clients.
Lesson One: You give and receive in a power relationship
You can never enter a power thinking about what you can gain. Even though it is essential that you enter these kinds of relationships with people you believe are driven to achieve their goals, you should also have contributions you can make to help them accomplish those goals. Your contribution could be mental, financial, or emotional.
Walter Wellesley “Red” Smith, acknowledged that it was the mentorship he received from his high school teacher, Miss Breckenridge that set him on the path to winning the Pulitzer Prize for his works in sports journalism.
Lesson Two: You need to maintain specific core values to create and sustain a power relationship
Power relationships are not the kinds you stumble on unconsciously. They are sought purposefully to get the quality from the quantity of the friends you have. These relationships differ from platonic ones because they rest on certain pillars that include empathy, a strong foundation, integrity, trust, among others.
Relating to your customers on a human level could be the edge you need. Compare a steakhouse that made a customer feel like a criminal because he did not have his wallet and a restaurant in Paris that helped a customer out of a similar jam by reaching out to his hotel. It is not s hard to conclude who formed a power relationship in this example.
Lesson Three: Show interest in your clients
When dealing with potential clients or superiors, we tend to go on and on about why we are qualified and can deliver a better job than the competition. But from the book, it is better to relate with your clients in areas that interest them. Sometimes it could be on a personal level, or by giving a fresh perspective to their current issue. A CEO during a Q&A session at an industry conference came alive after one of the authors asked him where he saw himself in the coming years. The question seemed to spark him to life, so much that he thanked the author and asked him to keep in touch after the conference.
My Personal Takeaway
After reading this book, I discovered that a power relationship is not formed accidentally, except in rare cases. These relationships require work like any other meaningful relationship. I also figured that even though you are enthusiastic about helping, you do not need to share all you know to do that. Keep yourself relevant by keeping a level of mystery in your relationship.
Put into Action
- Create a list of your key attributes
- Make a list of those in your network with similar attributes and goals
- List those in your network with different ideologies about the same goals.
- Reach out to them and start to lay the foundation for a power relationship now if you have not started this earlier.
- Mark conference dates on your calendar. They are great spots for meeting likeminded people and competent mentors.
You should consider buying this book if…
This book benefits everyone in whatever sphere of life they find themselves at this moment. As long as you have goals you are aspiring to, you need all the help you can get, especially from a book that teaches you how to get this knowledge.
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