TRUE CONFESSION: I never get significant results by myself.  Even as a one-person business, I rely on a great number of others to support me and magnify my impact.

I suspect you have the same kind of reliance on others.

The first category is those people who help me produce what I do.  That includes development and delivery of my services.  If I were producing a physical product, I’d need design, production and inventory.  Those might be done inside the business, but a lot of it depends on suppliers, consultants, partners, and so on.

The second category are those who magnify my impact.  It includes marketing and sales, so I can reach more of those who can benefit from what I do.  A physical product would require distribution and even storefronts.  There may be partnerships where others produce complementary products and services which, in the end, help solve customers’ problems.

You can see how I end up with a whole bunch of people who I rely on for business success.

Without attention, these relationships will wither and die.  Employees need to be nurtured and given a supportive environment.  External partners are a constant exercise in maintaining alignment.

Conflicts and disagreements are normal.  We’re human and each of us has a different mindset.  So the challenge is not to eliminate diversity, but to learn how to leverage it to make the business stronger.

I would argue that sustenance is the primary role of any leader.  We spend so much attention on courageous decisions and stellar results, but in fact those results are almost entirely built on group alignment and motivation.

Without that, even the most intelligent decision quickly falls apart in the implementation stage.

Do you have a plan which specifically addresses sustaining each relationship that you rely upon?