ALWAYS BET ON A GREAT JOCKEY NOT ON THE HORSE

Recently, I had an excellent chat with a good friend, a superb entrepreneur and just an overall good guy. He mentioned to me that one of his successful clients told him that he always bets on the Jockey and never the Horse when he attends the races. This process has produced fantastic results for him. As soon as he said it I realized that there was a not so subtle message in that statement that could apply to the way we transact business and build relationships.

To me,  this meant that we should focus more on the individual; the person with whom we are building the relationship and not necessarily the business or the project or the brand they are associated with at the moment. When we invest in the person, when we pay close attention to the ‘who’ instead of the ‘what’ we are then able to make better decisions about the individual ( their own “personal brand”).

How many times have you made a positive, authentic connection with someone who shares your ethics, your professionalism about the way that you conduct your business,  however the project, the sales call or the RFP doesn’t work out as planed for a multitude of reasons but the relationship not only survives that but continues to flourish long-term? I hope your answer is at least one or even many.

Betting on the Jockey demonstrates that you believe in the person’s integrity, their passion, their good intent and in their brand. Even if the horse should falter along the way, you are only marginally concerned because you know that another horse will come along and that your Jockey will make the effort. The Jockey brings stability. Supporting the right Jockey removes one risk variable from the equation and makes the bet just a little smarter and at times a lot safer.

Who are you betting on right now? Look around you, examine the projects you are spending your time on, the people you are working with. Are they worthy of your bet? Have you given them a chance to be worthy of your bet? Are you truly interested in their success on their terms and not your own? See, when you bet on a great Jockey you have to trust the Jockey to do what she does best – ride the horse. You wouldn’t bet on a Jockey and then after the first ¼ mile of the race you bail out. You have to show commitment to relationships I am sure that we all realize that we should never bet on a dishonest, sub par or an ineffective Jockey..

The value of a great relationship outweighs the payment from any  single deal or combination of deals. Great relationships continues to  pay dividends throughout their lifespan. A great relationship must be built upon trust, openness, cooperation, selflessness, common sense and a strong desire to help the other party succeed on their terms.

Business relationships need not be on the same level as personal or family relationships for them to be considered successful.  In business, a great relationship sometimes means that you will get that one  courtesy phone call…yes a phone call…that may alert you to a problem and give you an opportunity to  rectify that problem or retool the situation. Without that relationship you might only learn that an adverse decision had been made well after the fact.

So, this may be a great time to reassess your relationships and realign your bets. If you’ve been placing your  bets only on the  horses – deals, projects, opportunities – it may be time to cancel those bets and start betting on great  Jockeys – rainmakers, change agents, advocates, smart, driven people who share your integrity and want to help you become successful .

Bet wisely!