A necessary skill in Personal & Business Development.

Sometimes, I am tempted to believe that this is the most important skill required for personal and business advancement.

Growing up, I heard my Dad always say, be careful not to burn bridges. No matter what happens, make sure there’s a peaceful resolution especially when it has to do with your siblings.

One day I came home sad, I mean very sad! The signs of obvious discomfort were all over me. It was second year in the university and as a young adult, I wanted to cry it out but held back tears on my way home until I met my Mom. She asked what was wrong and I poured out my heart to her – in the process, I wept like a baby.

I had visited my “best friend ” at his place during a semester break. I didn’t meet him at home but his dad had requested that I waited for me. I did. It was during the wait I saw some pieces of shredded documents that had my hand writings on it. I pulled out the envelope that housed the rest and discovered they were actually my documents .

Reflecting back. Two (2) years ago……

Yes! I remember my best friend was seeking admission then in a school I wanted to read medicine. I had packaged my documents for him to help me deliver in the school. He told me he did and I believed him completely. I waited for months without response and so I never had the chance or opportunity to read medicine. I took on something else in another school.

Back to where we were…..

My best friend never submitted the documents. Infact they were shredded and kept away for two years until I found them that morning.

My parents comforted me and advised that I kept a distance from him. Did I tell him? No! I didn’t but I kept away from him for years until I graduated. He begged and pleaded for forgiveness and expressed how jealous he was at the time and how he couldn’t come to terms with it. I forgave him and we are still friends.

In 2009, on my way to France for our routine family vacation, we met at the departure lounge, embraced and talked much more like we did when we were in secondary school. He too was going to France. Trust me, he was of immense importance to me and my family and I was glad that I listened to my Dad’s advice of never burning bridges.

Managing relationship depends primarily on TRUST. Once there is no trust, there is no relationship and ultimately, no business can be consummated.

Managing successful relationships has to with who you are. It begins with you! You MUST build yourself to a trustworthy position where YOU count. When no one counts, relationship cannot be managed. When people can vouch on your integrity and believe that you will do anything to defend it, they will naturally default to you, even when they themselves can’t be trusted!

I currently seat in the board of different companies by the virtue of TRUST. This in itself is not just limited to integrity and honesty (even though it matters most) but in competence, capacity and availability. Some just call me to be on the board because they know the offerings that I can come with. They know I won’t cheat them or become greedy when “the meal is cooked and ready to serve”. The real competition is not with others, it is with self!

My friend, it’s not too late to build trust.. This is the basis of managing enduring relationship. Become intentional with it and you will go far!

Have a blessed week.

Dr. Festus Odigie-Erewele (The Coach)
Founder and Managing Partner,
Excel and Grace Consulting.
I create and manage business leaders.