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By Michael Angier

Your Key People

Business is all about relationship. Who you know and how good a relationship you have with them has a profound effect on your current and future success.

But in the busy-ness of business, it's easy to lose track and lose touch with the people who can help you.

I keep what I call a 'Key People List'. Every person is important, but with over 1,500 people in my contact list, there's no way I can adequately nurture a relationship with all of them. Having a list of 10-20 key people helps me to stay focused on building and maintaining win-win relationships.

From time to time, I scan down through the list of names to see how I'm doing in staying in touch and helping them out.

A few years ago, Harvey McKay wrote a book called, "Dig Your Well Before You're Thirsty". The essence of the book is in its title. My Key People List is a bit like that. When and if I need some help on something, I'm not contacting someone whom I have neglected, but rather someone who sees me as having been there for them. Remember, people don't care how much we know unless they know how much we care.

You may think this is too calculating and strategic—perhaps even unfriendly. Quite the contrary. It's simply a means of staying focused on what's important. It reminds us of people we care about. Just the good intention of remaining close with our friends, colleagues and associates is not enough. We have to act, and my Key Person List helps me do that.

Whenever I look at my list, I find reasons to touch base with them. I send them something that would be helpful. I call them to see how they're doing. I ask if there's anything I can do for them. I encourage and congratulate them. It's not hard; it takes only a few moments, and it means a lot.

To know that someone else is thinking about us gives us all a warm feeling—and causes us to do the same for them. At the end of our lives, it will be the relationships we had with family and friends that will bring us the greatest joy.

Who do you have on YOUR list? Who would you put ON that list? And, are you the kind of person who would end up on someone else's list? 



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Last Updated 04/06/2004