InHOWse REALtime: AIGA Leadership Retreat Notes_3

The $5.00 Ask

Christina Jackson, former president of AIGA Minnesota and current executive director at Rocket, a design career development consultancy, related a great story appropriate to in-house. At networking events she often walks up to strangers, shakes their hand and asks for 5 dollars. As expected, they look at her and respond, “Why would I give you $5.00 I don’t even know you.” To which she replies, “Exactly, and why would you expect a potential employer or client to hire you if they don’t know you.”

Christina’s point here is that if you don’t build a relationship, be it with your manager, your reports, your clients, upper management, the C-level execs, don’t expect them to buy into your ideas or respond positively to a big request. Like it or not, your work is not going to get you the respect, equipment or strategic buy-in from your company. Relationships are the currency of business. Build them and stop asking strangers for 5 bucks.