EY CEO - "A Cup of Coffee Is Worth More Than 1,000 Tweets!"

By Jatinder Singh, Associate Partner & Mentorship Coach, Lighthouse International

Why relationships are worth far more than technical skills to achieve career success.

Often employees, especially those in industries that have a strong technical focus such as accounting and law believe the key to success is improving your technical skills. The mindset is one of 'the better my skills are, the more I can differentiate myself'.

However, recently Mark Weinberger, the Global Chairman and CEO for accounting firm Ernst & Young gave his advice for those wanting to achieve more in their career...

The Importance of Relationships

While technical skills and being competent is undoubtedly important for our career success, EY’s Global Chairman and CEO recently spoke about why relationships and networking were the key to his success. In particular, he spoke about the importance of one-to-one relationships that have been nurtured over time.

“Cultivating long-term relationships is something I’ve done my entire life.”

Investing One-to-One Time In These Relationships

Mr Weinberger further highlighted the importance of investing one-to-one personal time in these relationships, which he said is needed even more in these days of social media. Nowadays many people believe their network is the number of people they are connected to online rather than deeper connections they have nurtured through investing time and effort into understanding someone else. 

“Social media is a fantastic tool...but forging one-to-one relationships is the key to success. Meeting someone for a cup of coffee is worth a thousand tweets.”

Relationships Don't Need To End When You Leave Your Current Role

He also spoke about the importance of maintaining relationships with those who have left his firm, rather than seeing their departure as a bad thing. He cites the opportunities that can come through this:

In today’s highly networked world, making and maintaining connections is more important than ever... Companies and individuals sit within complex webs of stakeholders, from clients and customers to alliance partners and alumni. Using networks effectively is a key to success.” 

“Quitting a job and moving on to another means many good things – new challenges, new colleagues and a new commute among them – but in today’s connected world it should never mean saying goodbye.”

Resources Come Through Relationships

Mr Weinberger understands that by building relationships, he has greater access to the resources he needs. This approach even works for those who no longer work for the company.

“Our alumni can be our best advocates and sources of business and employee referrals – most still have fond memories of the time they spent with us.... And they can be top-notch sources of expertise on their sectors and on global trends, as well as excellent sources of advice and mentors for our people.”

The Moral of The Story

Mark Weinberger shows a very progressive attitude to the modern business world and how it is evolving with people moving companies and positions more often than in the past. Yet he understands very well the one thing that has not changed in business and life - the power of relationships.

Ultimately the one thing that everyone wants is to have friendships and relationships with people they trust! Just think about how this relates to our own lives - if we ever need the services of someone, would we prefer a recommendation from someone we know or a stranger?! Mr Weinberger understands that by building networks and nurturing relationships, he is building assets for life, not just the immediate term - something just as, if not more important than technical skills.

Quotes taken from his post on LinkedIn.

How To Apply This...

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