Relationship Before Opportunity

Skillful leaders are rare because the principles of leadership are frequently counter-intuitive.

4 counter-intuitive leadership principles:

  1. Talk to them about them.
  2. Gain power by empowering.
  3. Join their team before they join your team.
  4. Talk less, listen more, and others will listen to you.

When I asked Jeremie Kubicek to explain the advice he most frequently shares his reply was another counter-intuitive principle, “Without question it’s pursue relationship before opportunity.”

Push back:

I asked Jeremie what push-backs “relationship before opportunity” received. He said two things.

  1. People think they already understand relationships. However, giving yourself away for the benefit of others is hard for most. Jeremie’s comment reminded me that we don’t know more because we already know too much.
  2. Tasks and short-term pressure usually take precedent. Focusing on relationships is a long-term activity in a world that expects short-term results.

Being a “relationship first” leader:

I asked Jeremie how GiANT Impact implements “relationship before opportunity.”

  1. Talk it within the company, the sales team specifically. In addition, we tell everyone we are a relationship company.
  2. Celebrate relationships in sales team meetings by telling stories and explaining how relationships created opportunities. Opportunities come more readily to those who put others first.
  3. The leader lives it both inside and outside the company.

Why relationship first:

Jeremie says in Leadership is dead, “Relationship before opportunity is about giving before receiving and serving before asking.”

On the other hand, opportunity-first creates walls. It creates suspicion.

“If you wait until you need a relationship it’s too late to develop a relationship,” Steve Keating – Selling Skills Manager for Toro.

Full circle:

Once opportunity emerges, serve the relationship. Jeremie explains, “Relationships are a competitive advantage, but only if you are honest about your motives and pure in your intent.”


Read yesterday’s post – part of my conversation with Jeremie Kubicek


Why is relationship before opportunity important?


Value Add: Download chapter 8 of “Leadership is Dead, How Influence is Reviving It.” No strings attached.