It is the quality of our relationships that will carry us through tough economic times. Economists, politicians, journalists—all of these people talk about society, organizations, and businesses as if they were objects that exist independently of people. They aren’t; they are merely abstractions in our collective mind. Only people are “real”, and it is their relationships that create the impression that we are bathed in a world of organizations.
It is crucial that we understand the power of relationships: who we choose (or don’t choose) to live with; how we live with them; how we work with others; the relationships we have with clients and buyers for our products and services; or the people we serve in our capacity as members of public agencies and not-for-profit associations. All of these relationships can make our lives better, or they can make them worse.
There are three types of relationships that matter in these circumstances: personal, professional, and corporate. Corporate relationships are the ones between all providers of goods and services and their respective clients, regardless of whether they are profit-making or not, and public or private.