Nothing happens without relationships! At the heart of all human interaction, progress, war, dissension, love, joy, success, achievement, are relationships. Think about it! Try to imagine anything of worth, lasting worth, and somewhere in that picture will be a relationship.

Humans are herding animals. We need others to accomplish almost anything. Relationships are at the heart of all that is good in the world, and, also what is bad. Relationships are the energy that drives progress, it is what kept us alive when we were emerging into the overwhelming force we are today. In those distant prehistoric days, it would have been impossible to live alone. It was by living in groups that we were survived, and then thrived.

During the darkest days of the Covid19 pandemic it is relationships, close loving relationships that people miss most. The inability to have close and personal contact has worked on the psychological well-being of many. For some, it was too much and the result was suicide, or divorce; for others, the lucky ones, even closer more meaningful relationships grew. At the heart of it is the innate, inbred need for personal human contact.

Isolation is used by torturers to get what they want from the person being tortured. It breaks the soul.

The opposite is also true, close personal relationships feed the soul. There is nothing more energising than the almost overwhelming feel of love that one can have for another. Just watch the impact of first love on young teenagers. And their absolute distress when it does not work out the way they had dreamed it would.

If you think about it, we are who we are because of the people around us. They reflect back at us who we are and what we represent from our earliest days. We know what we are capable of, or not, because we have these capabilities reflected back at us by all those we have contact with. The deeper the relationships we allow and encourage will assert to us over and over what we stand for. This belief is at the heart of our self-confidence, the foundation of our existence.

Relationships are right at the core of our existence. They make really good things pure or become gut-wrenching pain.

They are also at the core of achieving real success.

We have organised a fund-raising cycle tour from Johannesburg to Queenstown in the Eastern Cape each year for the last 10 years. Covid put paid to it this year, but, when we started to organise the 1965Ride, every element of the cycle tour was built around relationships. Our relationship with the town of Queenstown and the education so desperately critical to progress there and in the country; it was the tight relationships of essentially three people that organised that first tour in 2011 that made it happen; relationships with the Queenstown schools; relationships with people that brought us our first sponsors; and our first cyclists.

The route along which the tour proceeds also depends on relationships: With the traffic authorities, the bed and breakfast establishments, our supporters, sponsors, the media and, of course, the beneficiaries of our efforts.

The ability to build relationships is the power that resides in all of us and to starts with attitude. I worked for a boss who once famously told me not to worry too much about hiring people based on their qualifications and skills but rather to hire people for their attitude. He said attitude is everything and if the person has the right attitude, they will do whatever it takes to get the skills needed to get the job done. He was right. It does not matter too much what skills or qualifications you have if you do not have the right attitude.

Building relationships starts with an attitude which says I can achieve anything I want so long as I have the right people next to me and on side.

We are herding animals. We will always be stronger together, than apart!

This has been shown over and over and no more so than on the sporting field. Our most recent Rugby World Cup winning side is living proof of that.

Perhaps one of the great lessons of living in and through the Covid crisis is the knowledge that we are dependent on relationships for all the important things in life. The things that give us meaning. And those things are to be found in the warm loving relationships that are to be found in friends and family.

People and relationships enrich our lives. We just need to believe it and live it!


Tony Frost

Written by : Sirocco Strategy Management

Sirocco was established to work with organisations to guide them in their strategising, and to ensure effective the implementation of their strategies. Implementation depends 100% on the buy-in and commitment of the people in the organisation.


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