Proverbs 11:25: “Whoever brings blessing will be enriched, and the one who waters will himself be watered.”

Relationships are one of the best things life has to offer. Relationships are one of the most difficult experiences in life. Both statements are true.

Profit is as natural as fruit on the tree. If you plant a fruit bearing tree, water it, and do the maintenance, you will see a profit.

If you work with others in the planting, watering, and maintaining, you will have both relationship and profit. Both are good and from God.

The point is… relationship and profit walk hand-in-hand. Even though you have been burned, remember, one cannot survive without the other.

7 principles I’ve learned to respect through years of hard knocks:

1. Hiring is a most difficult process and should be treated with the upmost respect because “hoping someone works out” is not a strategy. Good hiring takes time and team. It requires much forethought. Who do we need to fill this position? What skill-sets, personality, experience, education, and strengths would make the ideal candidate? Am I being reasonable? Do I expect this hire to solve all the problems I see? Am I willing to use personality and strength tests during the interviewing process? After-all, that would slow down the process (ah, but slowing down the hiring process is an important key to success).

2. Consider one applicant at a time. To the best of your ability, choose the best qualified resume and interview that person. If you like what you see, use tests like DISC and Strengths Finder to make sure you’re not being sold something that’s not there. Either hire the person or move on to the next qualified resume. To not interview more than one candidate at a time. Those who practice this traditional model often end up hiring who they like instead of the very best fit.

3. Keep short accounts. Communicate, communicate, communicate. Listen, listen, listen.

4. Don’t try to be friends with everyone. Not only is it impossible, your motives will be questioned and you will not be able to give an appropriate answer. Contextualize your relationships. As Dr. Lewan explained at the 2010 Leadership conference, in general, a leader must always be friendly with followers but not familiar. Though this advice is criticized by younger generations, I think you will find it wise in the long run.

5. Treat every person with dignity and respect. In other words, separate one’s behavior from their worth as a human being. Their behavior has consequences of its own. Everyone is in process.

6. Relationships will end. It’s part of life. Take the good with you and learn from the past. Don’t waste energy defending yourself. Level-headed people understand that we all have a long way to go and there is almost always two really good sides to every story that wisdom, understanding, prudence, and love could not reconcile at that time.

7. Always seek to enrich. This starts with creating a healthy self. When we do good out of the overflow of a healthy self, we can trust our motives. But when we are unhealthy, our motives can be questioned even in the process of doing what appears to be “good works.”


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