Building Relationships With Your Key Stakeholders

  • by kaibizzen
  • Feb 18, 2021
  • Blog

In last week’s blog we were reminded that we were never intended to be an island.  

To succeed in business we need a myriad of healthy relationships to support us in our journey.   

My perspective is that without this support we will not experience the level of success we truly want.  I, as an individual, have a lot of strengths, knowledge and abilities. There is ALSO an awful lot I don’t know and can’t do so I need others to do that with me. Additionally, without people around me, the growth opportunity of my business will be limited by my individual capacity. 

In last week’s blog, I discussed the most important relationship we have is the relationship with ourselves, as it is the mirror that shows back to me how much I know, understand, lead or love myself.  It’s my perspective that we will only know, understand, lead or love others as much as we do that to ourselves. 

Once we “get” that and act on what we see, we have a solid foundation upon which we can build relationships with the people who are going to help us achieve what it is we want to achieve. 

The Key Relationships To Build For A Business Owner. 

Our family.   

These are the people we love the most and the greatest reflectors back to us of how much we know, understand, lead and love ourselves.  They know instinctively which buttons to push.  More often than not we blame them when they push our buttons.  Rather, it’s important we stop and analyse how we are reacting to what they are doing, as every time our buttons are pushed the universe is giving us a great lesson in self-awareness and self-love. 

There are very few business owners who have a family, where their family doesn’t rank somewhere in their highest life priorities. In fact, there are a lot of business owners where family ranks higher than the business – that’s OK.  For some, while family may not be their highest, it is certainly up there. Conversely there are business owners where family does not rank at all. That too is OK.  However, it leads to misunderstanding with your partner, for whom most likely family is his or her highest (opposites do attract afterall).   

Many times, you aren’t there for special events such as children’s sporting matches or school assemblies when your child receives a special recognition. You go home late, leave early, have little time or sometimes desire to talk about what’s going on in your life and your partner feels more and more alienated and alone.  Many men feel guilty and frustrated and respond in one of 2 ways – push the feelings down and keep on going or acknowledge it and yet can’t see any way off the treadmill. 

Many Australian men especially have a couple of cultural behaviours modelled to them by their parents – you have to work hard to make money and/or you are the key bread winner for your family.  Your behaviour therefore reflects these engrained beliefs from many generations before you.  You continue to work hard and work long hours.  You think that by being at work all the time you are providing for your family and doing the right thing by your family.  But are you?   

The beliefs you have about providing for your family may not really be serving you, because they are not helping your family.   

At Kaibizzen, as a married couple ourselves, Rob and I work with couples.  Sometimes they work together in the business or one is in the business and the other has their own career.  Much of the work we have done over the last 17+ years is keeping marriages together which were floundering because of the business.   

Your relationship with your family is imperative to your business success (divorce can not only wipe a business out financially, it can also drain you emotionally). For many business owners it’s the reason why they went into business in the first place, they just don’t know how “to do it” well.   

Our team 

In a previous blog, I spoke about the one group people we as the owners/leaders of our business need to look after.  

It’s our team.   

Most business leaders try to look after their clients and the business BEFORE they look after the team.   

As stated before, we won’t succeed in business if we are an island and try to do it all ourselves.   

We know instinctively that we need a team. However, if right from the get go we don’t… 

  • specifically know and document what results we expect our team of people to give us;  
  • know specifically what do they have to do to get those results and then  
  • know specifically what type of person are we looking for…  

…we will most likely flounder for a long time until we get it right.   

Most business leaders hire REACTIVELY not PROACTIVELY and then wonder why it doesn’t work.  Deciding you need someone to start ‘immediately’ is almost guaranteed to backfire on you. A quick interview and a hurried recruitment and selection process almost always leads to the wrong person being hired. 

Then we blame the team for their poor performance! 

Your number one relationship, after yourself and your family, is your team.   

Successful business owners and leaders chose the right people to do the right job at the right time; they lead those people; they manage those people; they hold them accountable to do what they have to do and subsequently see the results.   

If you’re not getting the results you are looking for from your team, don’t blame them.  Take 100% ownership for the fact that you haven’t had clarity about what you’re looking for; and/or you can’t lead yourself, manage yourself, hold yourself accountable let alone anyone else. 

One of my mentors says to me, “Faye you get the people you deserve”.  In my business, until I’ve learned the lessons I’ve had to learn from the people I’ve engaged in my business, I’ve kept making the same mistakes over and over again.  When I “get it”, that’s when I see different results.  It’s that simple. 

Our clients 

In a previous blog I wrote about your job is to look after your team and your team will look after your clients.  I still believe that.  Your team’s role is to perform the operational function of your business with your clients so that they get the results they want and need, or even better – they are wowed. 

Your relationship with your clients is one of what I call schmoozing.  This is your business.  Your relationship with your clients is to “show them the love” – wine them, dine them, seek their feedback. DON’T get involved in the provision of the product or service your business provides (unless that is what you love most in the business and you’re doing it from choice).  If you’re doing it because your team suck at it then it’s not from choice, it’s from duty and most likely habit.  

Lead your team, train your team, mentor your team and get them to provide the service, you will then be free to schmooz.  If you don’t schmooz, you lose! 

Our advisory team 

Richard Branson has said building a business is like jumping off a cliff and building the parachute as you go down.   I certainly speak from experience when I say the best learnings I’ve had in my businesses are from the “mistakes” I’ve made along the way.  Yes books, workshops, courses even dare I say, uni degrees may help us with some theory, but there’s nothing like the real thing to teach us the lessons we have to learn to be in business. 

Regularly, I use sport as an analogy for business.  Allow me to use it again.  There is NOT ONE SUCCESSFUL sporting team out there that don’t have the best team of coaches and support team they can find to help them achieve the top of their game. 

It blows my mind that business owners think they can do it by themselves.  I’ll be bold enough to say you can’t and you won’t achieve the success the crave on your own if you don’t surround yourself with the best advisory team you can.  You need the best accountant (maybe a couple – Rob and I do!); you need the best bookkeeper, you need the best business banker; you need the best debt collector; you need the best insurance brokers; you need the best coaches and mentors.   

The analogy I often use is the dad who loves to kick the footy around in the back yard with his kids and grandkids.  He probably doesn’t need a team of advisors.  If however he wishes to represent his state or country in his chosen game, his team will have them all.  He won’t get into the team if he doesn’t take on board what they say nor will he stay in the team if he doesn’t take on board what they say. 

Unless your business is just a hobby, you’re not going to get there if you don’t choose the best and then take on board what they say.   

Are you ready for your business to be a champion business? If so, reach out. Rob and I are here to work alongside you to achieve the business and lifestyle you’ve always wanted – for yourself and your family. 

02 Oct

Panel Discussion

Tuesday, 6:30pm Quest Cannon Hill

What does it take to actually remove yourself from the day-to-day grind of business? Learn from our panel of Business Owners who've Been There, Done That.