The Capital Of Friendship: 4 Thoughts

My friend, Karen Welles of Edge Content, recently shared a notion that I already know to be true – that friends are some of the most valuable capital that I have in my professional life. More powerful than a referral network. We can have many great acquaintances, but they are, by definition, different. Friends are friends.

Why are friends so valuable to us professionally?

Here are a few thoughts:

  • Friendship means reciprocity, however imperfect at times. If you have a commitment to actually maintaining healthy friendships you are in a better position to develop reciprocal relationships in your work life. The skill and commitment for maintaining productive work relationships through thick and thin is a respected credential in a team environment.
  • Friendships are not built on money and consequently, can make you richer. Most of us value relationships over transactions and will seek out the business person who shares the same value – we are more likely to believe that the relationship-oriented person has our best interests at heart, which inspires trust.
  • Friendship-oriented people will act in your best interest without expectations of an immediate quid pro quo. Business people that act this way may initially be a challenge for a naturally suspicious person, but they are magnets for the good will of others, enabling them to be even more effective as facilitators of positive team and business interaction. A friendship view of life can more easily put you in sync with what others need, including customers.
  • Friendships provide a social strength for everyone involved – a place where you can go if you’re fired, a source of support when you start something new, the individual who will be honest about your short comings and the person with whom you will celebrate your success. They also give you a lot of latitude to be yourself and feel safe.

I remember the late Moose Millard once saying that “love is a dangerous four-letter word.” What he meant was that love is actually the most powerful facilitator of effectiveness and corporate success. “Friend capital” is a way of approaching your professional relationships and it is the epitome of transparency – imperfect and focused on the common good.