One of the coolest things about being a Green Beret for many years was the amazing lessons I learned from ordinary people who are often overlooked by modern society.

I grew up around salt of the earth country folks so I’ve always had an affinity for the elegant simplicity of local flair.

In Afghanistan, Colombia, and other places I worked over the years, rural communities live much like they did hundreds of years ago.  Groups, clans, and tribes are central to daily life and group honor is the most prized currency of all.

In these areas, I learned that relationships are essential to getting any kind of business done.  In these places where governments can’t reach, if locals don’t trust you, you won’t get anywhere.

This seems quite foreign to us in our highly capitalized society where transactions seem to matter more than anything else.  Who has time for relationships?  It’s just business right?


The truth is we all originate from these remote places where clans rule – and we carry more of this tribal behavior than what we think.  We exhibit these clan-like tendencies at our core.

For example, relationships still play a very important role today, even in our hyper-connected and contractual society.  In fact, leaders who put relationships before transactions tend to fare much better in meeting their goals and achieving their bottom line.

Those who shoot only for the transaction and throw relationships away after their short-term goals are met are woefully less competitive in today’s market place.  It turns out reputations still precede us.

Think about it, if someone offers you a great deal on a new car…but you don’t trust the dude selling it to you…would you buy it?  I doubt it.

So, where do you stand on this skill?  How good are you at building and maintaining relationships.  Do you value them and put them before the transactions?  This is a skill that takes practice.  Work at it and you’ll see results come through pretty quickly.

The more you do this, the more folks will value you and the goals you’re trying to achieve.

De Oppresso Liber,
Scott Mann

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