If only we all had a crystal ball. It would be so easy to know what to do next in every situation. One of my clients told me the other day that the most helpful thing we could do for her organization is figure out what they should do next. As leaders, how do we do that? How do we know what to do next? I think we try things, a lot of things, and see what works. What do our customers love and what do they hate? What are the easy successes, the things we didn’t try very hard to do, but they unexpectedly took off, and what are the hard losses, the things we worked diligently at that didn’t turn out like we wanted them to? Answering those questions has often helped me figure out what to do next.

Someone in the Network recently suggested trying people out on projects before you “buy.” In other words, give people something to do to test their abilities, their skills, and, most importantly, their values. Then decide if you want to be in a long-term relationship with them. I think this works in multiple arenas – consulting projects, hiring, partnerships and joint ventures, or any kind of business relationship. We learn about each other best when we are working on something together. In the current economy I know a lot of people who are testing the consulting waters or picking up side hustles to try something new. There are many ways that we can do something together as a way of building relationship and deciding if this should be the thing we do next. It doesn’t have to be big, or permanent.

When I asked someone recently how we could be helpful she said, “Find something for us to do together.” She knew that when we have something we are doing together, when we have a purpose, especially when we share that purpose with others, we not only get to accomplish something useful and valuable, but we also strengthen our relationships. She was not asking me to find her a job or a consulting gig. She was asking me to create a way for her to connect to others in a meaningful way.

One leader in the Network is focusing his time on mentoring a group of leaders to view their business as a mission, not just a means of growing personal wealth. He is actively working on something with a group of leaders that will change the way they lead their businesses. If we are a royal priesthood, as it says in I Peter 2:9, who are we priests for? If we lead a business, a group of peers, or even just ourselves, we intercede at the throne for them. We are priests for them.