A colleague of mine highly recommended Dan Sullivan’s How The Best Get Better, an audio/booklet package. Dan shares six concepts and six strategies that truly get right to the core of how to focus strategically and thrive in the 21st century.

With Strategy #5 he discussed what he calls the referability habits. No matter what industry you’re in, how big or small your company is, or how skilled or innovative you are, he has found in over 30 years of coaching successful entrepreneurs that there are four key habits you must have to be someone that people are excited to refer customers and clients to. He calls these habits your passport to the future.

The four basic habits are:

– Show up on time.
– Do what you say.
– Finish what you start.
– Say please and thank you.

Surprising, isn’t it? You might have thought the keys would be things like exceptional skills, intense charisma, or brilliance. But when you stop to think about it, you probably know super smart people who you would not refer business to, because they are arrogant or ungrateful.

You also probably know wonderfully charming people who you would not refer to because they don’t come through with what they say they will do.

What about colleagues who are almost always late to meetings? How respected do you feel by that person? Again, they are probably not someone you would refer to.

I’m part of a wonderful mastermind group. Recently, we decided to ask one member to leave. Although she is brilliant in some key areas and a very fun person, she missed a lot of our calls and she doesn’t answer calls or emails from members.

How do you feel when someone doesn’t come through with what they promised they would do?

How do you feel when they don’t offer a simple word of thanks or when they bark out a request, instead of being polite about asking?

These habits communicate respect. They communicate that you do not take anyone for granted. If someone does not feel respected, it doesn’t matter how brilliant, talented or charming you are. Sullivan says, “Respect means you recognize and are aware of other people’s goals, schedules and values.”

I encourage you to take a look at where you fall short with one or more of these habits and then recommit to them. Make these four behaviors the foundation of your personal and professional behavior. As you model them for your team or organization and impress them into the culture, everything in your personal and business life will transform.

 
 
 

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