I had lunch yesterday with a new friend Linda Thompson.  She flew in for the day from Chicago, just so we could spend some “get-to-know-one-another” time.

I’m speaking for her Bella Conference in Chicago next month, but we had not met one another until yesterday.

For four luxurious hours we shared life stories over the most delicious lunch at The Umstead in Raleigh (love a multi-course lunch where you’re treated like a queen while you linger and act like you own the place!)

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Lunch with lovely Linda Thompson, generous new friend!

Saying goodbye at the airport I was reminded that relationships trump credentials every time.

What I mean is people love to work, socialize, and make things happen with people they enjoy.  A boss that really likes me will grant more opportunities than the one I’m simply assigned to. Same for any business, community, or personal relationship.

One of my friends whose really exploded on the speaking scene told me how he follows people on Twitter, retweets their tweets and affirms them with a comment or two, then drops them personal messages of honor and encouragement.  Many times they respond back with an invite to be part of something they’re doing.

Linda sent me gorgeous flowers on my birthday this year, read both my books, let me know what she took from each of them, and handed me a card with yet another gift before she left yesterday.  No surprise I love her already and want to do anything she would ever ask me to do.

I also want to be more like her, proactively and generously reaching out to others as friends, for mutual win-wins.

Wherever you hope to go to or get to next, find out whose there and become their friend. Invest in their happiness. Affirm their interests. And if you gain an open door, that’s awesome, but more importantly, that’s relationship.

 

 

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