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The FIVE-Cs Test of Great Business Relationships


The FIVE-Cs Test of Great Business Relationships

Life and Business Guidance System

If you could better ensure your business and personal relationships work out, you celebrate more ‘wins’ in your professional endeavors, and your overall results in life frequently met your expectations of success – would you want to know about it?

There is a way to achieve positive outcomes for your most pressing business and personal matters. It has taken me two decades and hundreds of clients to quantify into five simple observations that I am boiling down for you now.

There’s a pattern for almost anything that turns out well in business and conversely, a pattern for the things that don’t. It’s almost as though there is a matrix of sorts; a process that, by filtering my business relationships through these FIVE Cs first, delivers far more predictable outcomes.

The true epiphany happened when later it became clearly relevant to events, business relationships, personal relationships, business partnerships and life in general.

Let’s be frank. We’ve all had “bumps in the road” when business and life don’t work like we think they should and people negatively affect our desired outcome. So in reality, much of our business and life outcomes boil down to people. To be more precise, it’s the way you process your people decisions, your partner decisions and your closest relationships that make all the difference to your end game.

What emerged from all of this is The FIVE-C Tests of Great Business Relationships.

They stand for:

1.       C = Character

2.       C = Competency

3.       C = Chemistry

4.       C = Compatible Vision

5.       C = Capacity

Today, when helping clients add rock star talent to their teams, the first things I encourage them to look at are the FIVE Cs. I have them ask themselves (in that specific order above) how these particular people FIT into the five areas on a 0 to 10 level. If zero means they’re a terrible fit, five indicates mediocrity, and ten means superman-status, how do your new team members rank?

1.       CHARACTER: Are these the kind of people that say what they do, then do what they say? What does their history tell us? Note:  It’s not really what they say, it’s their actions in light of what they say that are the best indications of character. What does their business track record look like? Don’t just assume, do some homework. Look into past business relationships in both the wins and the losses categories. Many of us learn more from the losses than the wins in their professional life and so should you and the people you want to add to the team.

2.       COMPETENCY: One of the first things to look for when adding a new team member is whether or not the person is a life-long learner. If they’re not, you’re likely getting left behind as business is in constant flux. Then ask this question: does this person’s work reflect a sense of excellence? Do they have a history of growing in their given skill set? Are they willing to expand what they know to tackle new situations that face them? Weigh competency along with character and you’re on the right path, BUT you’re not done yet.

3.       CHEMISTRY: Ever been on a first date? Remember that “gut instinct” that told you this isn’t going to work? You need to develop that instinct in business when you’re hiring new team members. Chemistry is that magical thing that you know when it’s there, and you know when it’s not. Certainly you have worked alongside people with great character and competency, but you just don’t have that connection thing that makes all the difference in the outcome.  That’s bad chemistry. It’s that simple.

4.       COMPATIBLE VISION: So let’s say you love their character, they are extremely competent, and they have your kind of chemistry; now what?

Now it’s time to discover if there’s synergy of vision. If they don’t share your vision you are headed for trouble. If you engage with them, you will spend all of your efforts continually re-selling the vision.  That is a waste of your precious energy and time.

5.       CAPACITY: Okay, you’re almost home. They have character, competency, chemistry and they LOVE your vision for the future. What happens now if they don’t have financial resources to get involved? What if they don’t have the “time” resource it will take to participate in what you’re doing? What if they don’t have the “emotional” resources to do what needs to be done? If they do not have the capacity, you will constantly be dealing with broken promises, dropped balls, and inferior results.

When it comes to team building for clients, we take everything we know and filter it through the Five Cs. In short, we ask, “Does the Character, Competency, Chemistry, Compatible Vision and Capacity line up in a way that makes sense for you or not?” By filtering decisions through these Five Cs, we’ve discovered how to predictably achieve the desired outcome.

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