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Sometimes You Can't Make it on Your Own!

I was looking for inspiration for today's blog entry and my ipod came to the rescue when the U2 song Sometimes You Can't make it on Your Own started playing. Bono probably didn't envisage a business perspective to his lyrics but the sentiment can actually apply to many situations.

One of the interesting things for business leaders is that they often don't have anyone to talk with about the issues they face. They cannot share their fears and concerns openly with their employees, because they need to project the positive messages and be the cheerleader rallying the team. It can even be difficult with their fellow executives because often decisions made and courses chosen will affect those individuals too.

There are however options for those business leaders willing to reach out for help. There are "peer" groups such as President's Clubs, and I have belonged to several over the years. They can employ coaches and external advisers, and they can have a board of directors to go to for advice.

Business leader or not there can be times when all of us need some help. I don't care how independent or self-sufficient you are as an individual there are times in your life when you need an ear to listen, a hand to help or just a friend. So, Bono is right ... sometimes you just can't make it on your own.

It really is not a good thing to wait until such times arrive before you start to develop networks. You need to have a plan. For some people its easy, they have lots of relatives close by, they maintain contact with their old school friends and they always seem to have people around that are supportive.

Other people don't have those networks. I was born in Liverpool and can barely remember the names of people I went to school with, never mind keep in contact. I emigrated to Canada alone and my family are all back in the UK.

So ... how strong are your support networks?
Who do you turn to when you need help?
Do you have close friends ... or do you have social acquaintances?
When you have tough life decisions to make who will help?
We all need friends, but are you making the necessary investment in those relationships? Are you willing to "be there" for your friends?

Life is about give and take ... if you are not prepared to give, then you can't reasonably expect to take. Whether it is advice, comfort, support or just companionship you need to invest in relationships.

How will you fare when you need that friend?