What to Look for In a Relationship

What to Look for In a Relationship

This is a subject of betrayal and disappointments. Life is built on relationships. Meaningful life means meaningful relationships. It doesn't matter what sort of business you're involved in. Everything boils down to family. Your business family, your nuclear/extended family, your workplace family etc. If you go out to build a business, your major business is building good relationships; relationships that last and give fulfillment. Relationships of value. In doing this, some of the few things you may want to consider, in my opinion, include:


There is a short story of a scorpion and a frog. A frog starting to swim across a river noted a scorpion waving at him. The frog waited, but skeptical about what message the scorpion could be having for him. They had not been friends before and had no relationship.

"Could you kindly help me cross the river", lamented the scorpion, "I'm afraid I might be swept away by the violent river since I don't know how to swim like you. Besides, we have not had any problem between us."

The frog thought about this and wondered; "this scorpion is not serious. It's known for deadly stings and could as well poison me by a single sting, and that would be the end of me. I can't do such a thing." The frog started to move on with his journey; trying to trust his instincts. But the scorpion called all the louder and pleaded for help.

"What if you sting me in the middle of the river and I die?", the frog asked.

"But how, now! How could I do such a senseless thing? It would be very ungrateful to a harmless pal like you, trying to help me pass this massive river! We're not enemies, are we? I can't do that! Besides, if I do that, it would mean I also die with you because I can't swim."

And the scorpion managed to convince the frog and he accepted to help.

Sure enough, as they moved on, the frog swimming and doing his best to help his newly found friend to cross, he felt the sting! He cried out loud and asked, "but why have you done this, now! You promised me! And now you have done it. See, we're now both going to die in the river"

"Because I'm a scorpion. I just do what scorpions do. True we'll die. But I could not help doing it." That was the response by the Scorpion.

Whatever you're doing, just know that there are always scorpions hanging around and there is nothing much you can do about it. Neither can the scorpions help themselves out of their character. Don't go into a relationship hoping that your partner will change his/her character. I've heard friends getting into a relationship with an alcoholic only to complain later. If you ask them why they chose to go ahead despite the full knowledge, they tell you they thought their partners would change. It rarely happens. And in business, whether you're recruiting a new team member or looking for a supplier, it would be good to do proper due diligence. Do business with good people only! If someone is crafty elsewhere, he/she will be crafty with you too. I've learned this truth first hand; having been a victim. It doesn't matter whether they know you or not, whether they promised to be good or not. At least that is my experience.

"Nothing comes from corn but corn", James Allen.

In order to have long term success and fulfillment, be of strong and likable character. Deliver what you promise and always keep your word. If you have a problem with a particular habit, you can choose to work on it and change it. For more on this topic, read my book, Live Your Dream in 7Ds; more so the chapter on Disappointments.


If you picked all the best footballers in the world today and put them in one team to play an average team tomorrow, do you think they will win? Perhaps your guess would be as good as mine. Most likely they won't! But why and yet they are the best players? Because they still have no chemistry among them. They have not bonded enough. Having best players alone doesn't guarantees any victory. Their ability to work seamlessly together as a single unit is the key! For you to be an asset in an organization and to grow, it's important to have some chemistry with the other members. You must be able to work with people and find a way your skills and abilities will complement other team members and contribute to the overall value of the team. Same thing applies if you're recruiting; you must check the possible chemistry with the rest of the team. Remember that success is a team effort. There are no successful solos. And no two relationships are the same. Chemistry is key; the strongest bond between members. It's helps to harness the synergy of the team. You could see this in the world cup matches. It's what creates harmony like in a powerful symphony orchestra.

In a marriage relationship, I often tell people to marry their friends. If you couldn't be good friends, chances are you will have a rocky relationship. Which hurts! Things become a lot easier if you're, first and foremost, best friends, then move on to become partners. This happens naturally if you share a lot of values and life perspective. Even in business, those with whom you rhyme in values and philosophy will more likely buy from you than those who are moving the opposite direction. Chemistry is that which enables you to work together without friction; to think together and arrive at decisions much faster. It's the meeting of the hearts. Some bit of learning can drastically improve your relationship skills and transform your life in general.

These skills are not part of academic courses, but even if you were the best in your profession, without these skills you're bound to stagnate at best. You will have issues with your colleagues at work, your customers, your family and everywhere. All your relationships will be nightmares.


In one of the big firms I worked for, the head of technical department had a long list of experiences and many certificates to authenticate how qualified he was for the task. As members of this department, we felt safer until the shit hit the fan. A big technical hitch occurred and the guy, being the most qualified, was naturally expected to find a solution quickly enough. To our surprise, he could neither offer an idea on how to fix it nor assist in finding one. He was as clueless as one who had never been in the field. He relied totally on the subordinates who had less papers but more versatile. Because of papers, this very person got the job. The inside talents were left out, someone with bigger profile was brought in. Needless to say, he didn't last in the position. As Mr. Trump would say, "Bullshit can only take you so far."

The ability to do the task efficiently and effectively is more important than a bag full of certificates of merit. I have seen people with great credentials that will make everyone believe they are the best, but who are completely incompetent. Don't be deceived by the certificates. They are good, at least for admiration. But over and above the certificates, if you have them, you better be really good at your work and have a great attitude for that matter.

In business, some of the people whom you will want to engage will provide you mediocre service at best. I hear this almost every day. They have learned to build elegant profile documents and talk big and convincingly. It's unfortunate that their very presence denies the most deserving professionals the opportunity to do what they love and make them equally doubtable. Just get to know that every time you do a bad job you spoil for others in your industry as well. Do what it takes to make your competence level grow.

In conclusion..

Remember the 3 Cs above mentioned; Character, Chemistry and Competence. If we remove any one of them, life becomes more difficult in a relationship. Whatever the type of relationship. One may be a good person, willing to deliver and able to relate well as far as chemistry is concerned, but lack the required competence level and hence bringing the team down. If, however he is competent but can't work with others, he'll be like a striker trying to display his prowess in the field while ignoring his team and thus goalless match. Character flaw will affect competence and chemistry for obvious reasons. No one wants to work with wrong people.

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