I recently had a sponsor of mine decide to stop supporting me and go in another direction. The sponsor was a great sponsor, and we had had a mutually beneficial relationship for quite some time. Although I was sad to see them go, I was happy for them in the new direction they were going. And it got me thinking about relationships …
Over the course of our careers, we meet a lot of different people and have built a lot of relationships. You never know when you meet someone new what that relationship is going to turn into down the road. And, even if you drift apart for some time, there is always a chance to come back together—that is, if you leave the door open.
I've known some people in my career who have let too many of their relationships go sour. Minor disagreements leading to them falling out with their partners and connections. Maybe they feel slighted or taken advantage of, so they burn the bridge. "I'm never doing business with them again!" They'll say in a fit of rage.
Now, sometimes, you do have to sever ties—for instance, when there's an issue of integrity or ethical shortcomings with people in your network. By and large, though, you should hardly ever burn a bridge. Keep all of your doors open, because you never know when a lost connection may wonder back through.
I've always liked the mantra, "Make new friends, but keep the old ..." Certainly, keep building bridges. Keep forging to relationships in business--always have a steady pipeline in your network. But, among the bridges you've already built, keep them operational. Don't sever the ties. Don't burn the bridges you've worked so hard to build. As the environment gets increasingly more competitive, you'll need all the bridges you can get.
David Lykken, a 43-year veteran of the mortgage industry, is president of Transformational Mortgage Solutions (TMS), a management consulting firm that provides transformative business strategies to owners and “C-Level” executives via consulting, executive coaching and various communications strategies. He is a frequent guest on FOX Business News and hosts his own weekly podcast called “Lykken On Lending” heard Monday’s at 1:00 p.m. ET at LykkenOnLending.com. David’s phone number is (512) 759-0999 and his e-mail is [email protected].