Do You Know the #1 Secret to Success?

Said by Henry Ford more than 75 years ago:

I love this quote because it's not only about business, it is also about life.


Understanding what the other person cares about - what are their goals, fears, cultural context, experiences, etc. - goes a long way in determining the depth of your relationship, and your ability to help them.


All too often we make assumptions of what is important to the other person. And more often than not, we are wrong.


Being the "search guy," you might think I'm going to suggest that by "Googling someone" that you can determine their angle before you meet. While you might find some relevant information, in my opinion, you should not use what you find as fact.


Rather, use any information to ask better questions. Questions that are thoughtful and authentic.


Unless you're a doctor whose specialty is insomnia, nobody in business wants to hear "what's keeping you up at night?" What they do want to hear, however, is something like: "In doing some research, I see that your biggest competitor is entering the new widget market. I would love your opinion... what do you think about that?"


In business, and in life, true relationships and ultimately your success is your ability to see and understand different perspectives.