3 Essentials of a Great Counterpart

Working in a different country and culture, especially given the socioeconomic landscape of Moldova, provides many challenges. Over the 18 month span of living and working abroad, I have encountered a diverse group of businessmen, entrepreneurs, government officials, volunteers, teachers, and students to partner with. Many have looked for the easiest route to success, yet there have been a select few that have hit the ground running, got results, and have left me impressed. Based on trial and error, I now perform due diligence before entering any new work relationship. I like to receive endorsements and reviews on the interested person and then gauge their ability to demonstrate three universal qualities that I find irreplaceable: passion, efficiency, and consistency (PEC).

1. Passion – This is by far the most crucial element I search for in anyone I am working with. If this is missing, not strong enough, or I feel that my motivation for the project outweighs theirs, I will not work with this individual for very long. Over the past two weeks, I have begun working with a local store owner who wants to change career paths and pursue building a rabbit sales business. When he first requested my consultation I was hesitant. I was not sure if his motives were based on the potential for a financial grant (short-term orientation) or to construct a strong business model (long-term orientation). Clearly this is hard to gauge on first interaction but I decided that because he is a friend of local friends I would open myself to this endeavor. So far, so good. The business owner has been great! It is because he loves rabbits. All day and night and admittedly in his sleep he thinks about them. He studies them, feeds and grows them in his garage, builds cages, and is very expressive when talking about them. His passion oozes out of him each time we meet and it is that passion he exhibits which ignites my interest and concentrated effort in helping him grow his business.

2. Efficiency – Getting off on tangents is easy. Take a second right now and check out how many webpage tabs you have open at the moment. If the answer is more than one, then congratulations you are human. All of the media, information sources, and communication networks we have available to us online provide tons of knowledge and pleasure, but also many distractions. A quality that is invaluable today but will be even more so into the future is one’s efficiency when working. Everything digital will provide an impediment to success, so it will take someone with strong organization skills, focus, and deliverance to progress projects. A suggestion I have is to keep one tab open at a time. Make a to-do list of what you would like to accomplish, focus on each task, and tackle each item systematically.

3. Consistency – I am a baseball fan and a strong one at that. In the game there is a position called the closer. He is the player (or pitcher) that has to finish the game when his team has the lead. If he blows the lead, then all eyes are on him and he will normally receive criticism on news reports and Twitter. If he succeeds it does not receive much attention because that is what he was expected to accomplish. Life is no different for us in the workplace, friends. We are expected to deliver on all assignments. We need to be as accountable as we possibly can. This can make or break working relationships for me. If the person sets an expectation for me that he/she will deliver immediately, my mind will expect that result. If the person is the opposite, my mind is programmed the same. Be the person that everyone can count on. Involve yourself in the conversations and deliver value up until and past the point of project completion. Establish high expectations for yourself and others will take notice and respect you for them.

None of the qualities require hard skills. You do not have to be a genius to incorporate them in your personal arsenal. They require discipline and to be engaged in what choose to do on a daily basis.

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