Think of your relationships on the job as a bank account.Every time you do something positive, whether it is help out a co-worker, make a sale or solve a problem, that's a deposit. Each time you miss work, come in late or screw up in some way, it's a withdrawal.
Why does Bob get fired for missing work three days in a month, while Mary just gets called into the boss's office and asked to start coming in earlier to make up the time missed?
Because Bob's "relationship bank account" is overdrawn. He has only worked at that job for a month, he's already missed three days and because he is new, he has taken time away from other tasks as people train him. Hot tip here - when you're new to any kind of relationship, be on your best behavior because you have zero deposits.
I knew a scientist who had, decades earlier, developed a product that was making the company over $50 million a year. He was actually a hard-working guy, but you better believe that he could come and go as he pleased and turn in his expense account report six months late - because his deposits in that "company relationship" bank account were so huge it was never, ever going to be overdrawn.
THE SAME IS TRUE FOR FRIENDS
There are people who have been my friends for 20, 30 or even 40 years and their "deposits" are pretty huge. I am supremely lucky.
Let me just give you a couple of examples. We did a Kickstarter campaign a couple of years ago. It was not for a huge amount of money but it was important because showing that we could get hundreds of people to back us on Kickstarter gave us major points in a small business competition we had entered (in fact, we ended up getting the award). Near the end of the three weeks it was looking as if we might not make the goal of $20,000.
THREE different friends called me up and said, "I'll give you my credit card. Charge as much as you need."
It's not just about money. I'm super fortunate to have friends and family who I can count on, often without being asked.
I can't begin to count the number of days Gary Butts showed up at practice with his three daughters after working a 12-hour shift patrolling the streets and took fall after fall from Ronda as she was learning new throws. Or the number of times he covered practices I was supposed to run because I had to be out of town for some contract that was paying my bills.
From the time Ronda was a white belt, we have been traveling down to San Diego, sleeping on Jake Flores' couch and training with him and his sons at their judo club. There's also the time Jake drove across Los Angeles in rush hour in the rain for a house call when Maria had pneumonia. (If you don't live in LA you probably don't appreciate how much of a pain in the ass that was.) So, even though I had SWORN I would never be on another board for the rest of my life, when Jake needed a chair of the board for his medical non-profit, I did it for two years.
Lanny and Laura Clark have had Ronda stay at their house when she was training in northern California, bought her a $100 swimsuit in Puerto Rico (there is a story behind that we will tease Lanny about forever) and shared enough bottles of wine with me to keep a small vineyard in business.
My niece, Samantha, showed up at our house with her mad photoshop skills and helped for two days straight with our company hackathon just because she could and knew we needed help.
I could give you 20 other examples from all of them, and that is my exact point.
In all of their cases, and with my other long-term friends, they can forget to come to a practice, fall asleep and miss a party, need me to come pick their child up from the airport and forget to tell me until the flight is landing, and it is okay. It's not that those things are not an inconvenience, but some people have such huge balances in their account with me that they will never be overdrawn.
HOW IS YOUR RELATIONSHIP BANK ACCOUNT?
So .... that's the nice way to put it. The other way to look at relationships is if you are a user. Are you always trying to get something from your "friends"? If every time you talk to someone you are asking a favor, you might want to check yourself.
If you have 'friends' whose accounts are permanently overdrawn, follow the lead of Bank of America and close 'em out.
Want to be even smarter? Play 7 Generation Games! Like push-ups, but for your brain.