SBTM Jul 2015 - Page 30

EDITORIAL FEATURE 3 Things Every New College Graduate Should Know About Relationship Management By Mike Muhney S oon, a new flock of college graduates will enter the workforce.  While these fresh faces bring with them new skill sets and knowledge, many of them will no doubt arrive on the scene with little expertise in the arena of relationship management.  Unfortunately, the era of Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter has not equipped them particularly well in that regard.  These graduates are about to enter a new stage of life and to that end, I’d like to share some advice I wish that I had been given at the start of my own career.   The transition from college campus to the work place represents one of the most distinct changes in life.  If one thing is certain, college alone does NOT prepare students for its magnitude, not the way one would hope anyway.   College life represents an insulated culture by default.   Nearly always surrounded by others close to their own age, students express themselves with their peers with little thought to differences in perspectives or even principles gained from a career’s worth of experience.   But new graduates will soon be required to mix among several generations at once.   Even if you have long since graduated, perhaps you have a family member or friend preparing to enter the workforce.  Consider sharing this advice with them. You might want to brush up on your own relationship management skills, too.   Avoid the Most Common Cause of Failure  Napoleon Hill, the famed author of the longstanding and enormously successful book entitled “Think and Grow Rich”, was commissioned by Dale Carnegie to study the titans of industry like Ford and Rockefeller as to what they attributed their success and failures.   Through his research, Hill was able to identify the three things that consistently led to failure.  In reverse order, they were procrastination, quitting when the going gets tough, and the inability to get along with others.   That’s right; the greatest cause of failure is the inability to get along with other people!  It’s such a simple principle that it doesn’t make sense that it’s the greatest reason people fail.   Coming out of college, freely able to speak your mind, and identify with those in your network, the work world is quite a different playing field.  The dimensions of personality, experience, bias, attitude, and perspectives create a variety of ways in which intended communication may be interpreted.   If failure is the result of one’s inability to get along with others, success comes from the opposite—developing quality relationships with those around you.  True and lasting success is achieved through the quality, strength, sustainability, and references that only a strong network can provide.   Developing and maintaining both your business and personal networks will be a lifelong endeavor.  Balance humility with confidence, be determined yet open-minded, and keep in mind that friendliness, respect, and courtesy will always trump knowledge.   Work Harder Than Your Competition   Let me present you with a simple scenario using the analogy of the sport of football.   Let’s say that during high school and college you were a gifted athlete. Sure, you worked hard for your 28 SMALL BUSINESS TODAY MAGAZINE [ JUNE / JULY 2015 ] That’s right; the greatest cause of failure is the inability to get along with other people!  It’s such a simple principle that it do \۸