Why the Godfather lied

Andrea Howe
Category : Weekly tips March 29, 2015

This post is part of our Weekly Tips series.

You’ve heard the expression, “It’s not personal; it’s business” (popularized by one of The Godfather movies). I don’t buy that.

Charlie Green, my co-author, taught me long ago that business is personal. This maxim later became one of the key points in The Get Real Project manifesto. And it’s been a core message in several Weekly Tips emails so far, including “What baked goods can teach us about client relationships” and “Why you had me at ‘hello’ and then lost me forever.

Think about it from a trust-building perspective: At root, most trust is personal. When trust is discussed, it’s usually in reference to people. When you “trust” a company, you’re likely focusing on dependability. With a few exceptions, it doesn’t make much sense to say that an entity is sensitive to your needs. Even when it does make sense to say an organization is credible or focused on your interests, the reference is usually to the people in it.

Business is personal. The faster we all embrace this fundamental truth, the more effective we’ll be.

Make It Real

This week, identify three ways you could make a personal difference for three key stakeholders. How might you extend yourself to them in a personal way? Get creative. Think beyond the boundaries inside which you typically operate.

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Andrea Howe

Andrea Howe

As the founder of The Get Real Project, I am the steward of our vision and our service offerings, as well as a workshop leader and keynote speaker. Above all else, I am an entrepreneur on a mission: to kick conventional business wisdom to the curb and transform how people work together as a result. I am also the co-author, with Charles H. Green, of The Trusted Advisor Fieldbook (Wiley, 2012).

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