Relationships: Strategy or Trust?


“Friend, there’s no greater investment in life than in being a people builder. Relationships are more important than our accomplishments.”—Joel Osteen

By Elizabeth Stincelli, DM

Why Relationships Matter

Relationships play a role in every area of our lives; every experience, every lesson learned, every accomplishment. Our businesses are built on relationships, our friendships, our communities, and our families are all dependant on our ability to develop strong relationships. Relationships serve as a barometer, telling us if someone is a friend or a foe.

When it comes to your relationships, are they based solely on strategic positioning, or are they built on trust? Are they authentic? Are they rooted in looking out for each other’s best interests, or are you each in it only for yourselves?

Built on strategy?

Ross Perot believes, “Business is not just doing deals; business is having great products, doing great engineering, and providing tremendous service to customers. Finally, business is a cobweb of human relationships.” Are your relationships focused only on the deal? Relationships based solely on strategy are usually one-sided; they are manipulative and unsupportive. Are you focused on what’s in it for you? If you find yourself only doing for others because you expect something in return, you are in a strategic relationship.

Built on trust?

Albert Einstein told us, “Whoever is careless with the truth in small matters cannot be trusted with important matters.” Trusting connection is what brings relationships to life. Are you treating others the way you would like to be treated? Relationships built on trust are open and welcoming. In these types of relationships you are seeking to create win-win situations. Your communications are transparent and honest, and your intentions are clear. If you are each looking out for the best interest of the other, you are in a trusting relationship.

Build Strong Relationships

Strategic relationships are like a game of chess, except no one wins in this game. Mona Sutphen said, “Most good relationships are built on mutual trust and respect.” When you build strong relationships you create shared successes. You feel comfortable in these relationships knowing that your communications are honest, that they are not self-serving, and they are mutually supportive. Relationships are the vehicle with which you gain influence, create situations in which everyone wins, and achieve your goals. Building strong relationships which are based on trust, not strategy, is the key to success in your business, in your community, and in your home.

© 2015 Elizabeth Stincelli

Elizabeth Stincelli is passionate about recognizing and inspiring the leader in each of us. She is the CEO of Stincelli Advisors where she focuses on helping organizations engage employees and improve organizational culture. Elizabeth holds a Doctor of Management degree with an emphasis on organizational leadership.

Learn more about Elizabeth by visiting her website, and connect with her on Twitter @infinitestin, Google+, and LinkedIn. You can contact her by email at


Author: lizstincelli

I am Liz Stincelli and I am passionate about recognizing, inspiring, and igniting the leader in each of us. I am the Founder of Stincelli Advisors where I specialize in helping management teams learn new ways of looking at problems and finding new approaches to discovering solutions. I hold a Doctor of Management degree with an emphasis on organizational leadership. I offer 20+ years of pro-active operations management, problem-solving, team-building, human resources, accounting, and business administration experience in a variety of industries. I serve on the Editorial Review Board for the Independent Journal of Management and Production and the Journal of Managerial Psychology. I have also been a guest lecturer at the Bill and Vieve Gore School of Business Westminster College. You can learn more about me by reading my blog here at: or Connect with me on Twitter @infinitestin, on Google+, and on LinkedIn. You can contact me by email at

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