(One of my all time favorite business authors is Harvey Mackay. His books are filled with solid, street wise information that is the kind of information that is needed in today’s business environment. If you haven’t read Harvey Mackay, start today. The following is an article from his syndicated column in the Arizona Republic from March 28, 2011…. Coach Dan)
When we were growing up, most of us learned to live by the Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Not “as they do unto you,” but “as you would have them do unto you.”
As working professionals, there is another manifestation of this rule, the Golden Rule for Networking. It should permeate all your networking efforts. But it goes against every naturally acquisitive, ambitious and self-serving impulse in each of us.
My Golden Rule of Networking is this: Reciprocity without keeping score. Simply stated, it means “What can I do for you without expecting anything in return?”
Webster’s Dictionary says reciprocity is mutual action and mutual exchange.
My definition of reciprocity is quite different. You must give without keeping score. No quid pro quo. It’s the one fundamental concept that is the most misunderstood in business today.
To be as candid as I can be, there have been plenty of people over the years who said they were going to help me in some way, but they didn’t. Maybe they couldn’t. Maybe they just forgot. Maybe they never intended to. It doesn’t matter. You cannot keep score, or you will lose.
Let me tell you how it works: If we’re smart, we surround ourselves with talented people – the most talented we can find. They are our most powerful assets. That’s why I think of this select group as our own personal brain bank. You never know when you’ll need to draw on the “accounts” you create with those oh-so-valuable resources.