From the Center for Strategic Relations, a twice-monthly supplement to Applying Strategic Relations, mailed at your request

Your Inner Circle

You will find this issue interesting as it shares a strategy for strengthening existing relationships. Cultivate an inner circle of strong key relationships that help you accomplish more.

Timely to consider as the start of a new year, this one strategy will do more for your business than any other strategy share until this point. Because it is important you are able to implement it in your life, the member's discussion forum is open for questions. The forum will remain open for a limited time.

This represents an overview of what you will receive over the next couple of issues. The relationships closest to you as an individual are critical to your business success. Read this issue completely and take action.


Justin Hitt
Consultant, Author & Speaker

Building Your Inner Circle to Accomplish more in Business

By Justin Hitt, Strategic Relations Consultant,

Every great person surrounds themselves with a few strong relationships that increase their ability to reach a point of pontification by others. This inner circle of unique individuals provides the resources they need to accomplish their objectives. These relationships are cultivated for mutual gain, so instead of building your success on the backs of others, you are lifted up to your new position.

You too can have a powerful inner circle that propels you to accomplish every objective.

Your single goal is a pinnacle built on a strong foundations of solid relationships cultivated for mutual gain. Leaders are rewarded when they bringing together the best people both inside and out of their companies. You can accomplish more by earning the support of critical people who by advancing their endeavors you can reach your objectives.

When you have access to the right resources, you can accomplish anything in business. An inner circle of strong relationships unlocks these resources. To build this inner circle and the foundation on which it grows, you must do the following:

  1. Clearly understand the benefit of positive business relationships in reaching your objectives.� Do not see this as a way to manipulate people, but more a means for you to provide value in exchange for those things you hope to achieve. Remove yourself from any negative situations that would harm others, and focus on objectives in the better interest of all involved. Remember, you have to live with these relationships and spend a lot of time in their proximity.
  2. Identify your specific goal for the period of action. Have a clear objective that is easy to convey to those people who you expect to help you achieve it. Your objective should be something they will stand behind yet serve your own passions. This single goal is the reason for everything you do and why you are investing time in these people.
  3. Identify those individuals who are critical to reaching this goal. These people will represent your inner circle. They do not have to be famous or powerful people, just those individuals who are important to the outcome of your success through their mutual benefit. This is a secret known by most master networkers; it only takes a few people close to you to make anything possible. Pick those people who will benefit from you as much as you will benefit from. Since you are seeking to cultivate strong relationships, choose no more than 100 individuals.
  4. Document the needs of those individuals who can help you reach that goal. You can have what you want if you help the people around you get what they want. People are more willing to do something for you if they see the benefit they gain in the effort. Frame your request in terms of the other persons benefit. Write down a couple of ideas for each individual; bring these items together with your list of names.
  5. Build a bridge between what other people want, what you have to offer, and your own objectives. This common ground represents your value position in respect to that individual. Look at what you think others want to find any connections with how helping these people get what they want will advance your objectives. It is important to look at this before and after you verify any assumptions. When learning more from the individual, try to explore why you felt they had one need when they really had another.
  6. Verify your assumptions with the individuals using personal communications methods. This is a fancy way of saying, sit down with people on your list, and get to know them better. Your assumptions about what people want and what they actually need are likely to be two different things. Find out exactly those people in this inner circle are interested in achieving. Focus specifically on understanding what they want, without any judgment or mention of you. Just listen and take notes.
  7. Obtain the qualifications or credibility required to provide what they want. You would not be able to solve each problem, but you must have the skills to find them a solution within your network. Beyond providing a solution, you must place yourself in a credible position to be trusted as a solution provider. You may have to make referrals accomplish this, but even if you do not gain any business, it is important to giving these people reasons to support you.
  8. For each individual, find those people who influence their actions. You are going beyond these close relationships to find those people that help them get what they want. These individuals can either influence the inner circle to support your desires and/or help your inner circle get what they want. Engaging these people in the future will help grow the value of your collective inner circle. Find three distinct people for each inner circle contact.
  9. Identify media sources that advance the combined objectives of you and your inner circle. Since your close relationships may not be customers, identify outlets that help them reach a common customer or advance common objectives. In this, you are educating a larger audience about certain value relationships inside the total collective network. This influences your inner circle and those who can call that group to action.
  10. Note what actions advance the mutual objectives of your inner circle. These actions may be marketing activities, growths in personal skills, individuals who create greater progress, categories of relationships or connections, or even methods of communications. Note anything that has contributed to your efforts in a meaningful way. This detail is important to your ability to create consistent results and repeat your positive efforts.
  11. Regularly refine the quality of your inner circle by delegating non-critical relationships. Just as you cannot be all things to all people, you cannot expect the same people to always be able to advance your objectives. True too is that you cannot expect these people to have a need they would exchange for the benefit they you seek. Learn to shift your relationships as necessary, bringing people in and out of your inner circle as it extends the groups mutual gain.
  12. Enjoy the journey as much as your destination. This is going to be hard work, you cannot continue building, and growing relationships if all you are looking for is an outcome. Learn to make everyday an enjoyable experience for all involved. This method of relationship building is more lifestyle based than any other you may discover. Make it a mutual journey that everyone can talk fondly of in the future. Create a shared experience that is worth the time invested.
  13. Use what you have learned from your inner circle to enhance relationships further out in your sphere of influence. Lessons learned may translate to marketing strategies for your company, improve employee management, and have impact on other leadership areas as the intended audience matches the demographics of your inner circle. Convey these lessons through the individuals you mentor while teaching them how to extend your experiences into their own inner circles. When you have grown to this point, you begin to build influences throughout your entire social network.

As a great beginning of the year activity, you will create an inner circle of trusted connections that are as interested in your advancement as much as you are in theirs. You are not looking to amass a group of friends as much as you are building a network of resources for mutual growth. While many of these individuals will become friends over the course of working together, it is also important to have strong relationships outside of business.

Focus on these steps over the next couple of months and you will discover new insights that grow your business. You will produce a network of resources that will make business more rewarding as well as profitable.

© 2004 JWH Consolidated LLC dba Center for Strategic Relations, All rights reserved.
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Do you want stronger relationships so that you can produce sustainable profits in an ethical way? Like most executives, you may want to advance your career while growing a profitable business that creates real change in your industry. In order to create this change, you must be a person of influence with strong business relationships. Share this newsletter with your team and discover how quickly these relationship based strategic can transform your business. Invite others in your circle to subscribe today at

Justin Hitt provides executives with actionable strategies to improve profits while strengthening business relationships. For training materials and other resources visit

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