Let us be honest: Most of us are very self-focused. We care greatly about our goals and our needs. That does not mean we are not charitable or kind or caring toward others. However, too many businesspeople put their needs front and center without looking much beyond that.
This attitude and approach to business can severely limit your success. As a business owner, for instance, you need other people to help you achieve your agenda. Regardless of who they are, you need them on your side and doing their best to help you. No one builds an exceptional business or achieves serious wealth all on their own.
A smart way to begin to shift your focus is to stop saying and thinking in terms of the idea of what others “should” do. Take stock of the many people you have dealt with. How many of them did what you think they should have done in the way you think they should have done it? How effective have you been in getting your relationship partners to do what you think they should do?
The bottom line is that when it comes to getting other people to behave in ways that can benefit you (as well as themselves), what you think they should or should not do doesn’t matter. This is usually the case in most aspects of life.
The good news: There is a way to make it much more likely that people you are dealing with will not only do what you think they should do but also take steps to enable you and them to come out as winners.
It is called attaining enlightened self-interest.
According to Frank Carone, chairman of Oaktree Solutions and co-author of Everyone Wins! How You Can Enhance and Optimize Business Relationships Just Like Ultra-Wealthy Entrepreneurs, “The power of attaining enlightened self-interest works because all parties accomplish much more. It’s a very effective way to lead, negotiate and network. By ensuring your efforts seek to help others, you maximize your chances of achieving tremendous results in business and life.”
Think of enlightened self-interest like this…If you can clearly show other people how they will get the results they most want by helping you get the results you most want, you will very likely be able to enlist their support and resources to further your endeavors. You make the conversations about them—their interests.
The outcome is that they will help you not because they should but because you have made it crystal clear to them that your fortunes can be tied together. In this way, they can achieve their critical goals by working to further their pursuit of your key goals and vice versa.
“In showing that by connecting your success and their success, you transform your respective self-interests into enlightened self-interests,” says Carone. “These objectives are most likely to be achieved by working cooperatively.”
Russ Alan Prince is the executive director of Private Wealth magazine and chief content officer for High-Net-Worth Genius. He consults with family offices, the wealthy, fast-tracking entrepreneurs and select professionals.