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  • Writer's pictureTerry Dockery


You heard me. No, I'm not a zealot in the recent fascination with zombies in the entertainment world, but it sure makes a great title for my message.

Have you ever thought about what makes zombies scary? There are two main reasons:

1. They don't care about you and whether you're happy.  2. They want to eat your brain.

Quick review: 

1. Business is about relationships. 2. The number one predictor of leadership success is empathy, or caring about other people.

Kind of makes you think about who you want to be in business with, doesn't it? Do you really want to "get in bed" with a zombie?

Can you trust someone to be honest with you and do what they say they're going to do, or are they just focused on short-term profit and how much they can wring out of you (i.e., eat your brain)? Are they capable of empathy--caring about other people?

Once you get past the making-a-profit part of the relationship (which admittedly is very important), are you going to be happy having a business relationship with someone like this? Wouldn't it be great to be financially successful and happy with the people you're working with (i.e., non-zombies)?

Taking it a step further, what's the probability that you really can have sustained financial success with a zombie? Aren't you always going to be nervous that the relationship is going to change drastically and dramatically when they come clean on their real agenda (i.e., eating your brain)?

What we're talking about here is basic emotional intelligence. We men tend to be less savvy about it than women. If you're a man and you don't believe me, just go ask your significant other.

However, that's really not a good excuse for missing this opportunity to be happier and more successful is it? Wouldn't you be better off if you were really good at this? 

Examples of The Walking Dead are people who:

1. Don't do what they say they're going to do.  2. Don't respond to introductions by mutual friends.  3. Don't act as if they care about you and your goals as well as their own (teamwork anyone?).

CEO's in particular have incredible demands on them. It's easy to see that they have to be jealous of their time, especially regarding the people they spend it with. However, if sustained business success is really about relationships, then isn't it worthwhile to avoid acting like a zombie to those who matter?

High-performance habits

1. Be sure your emotional intelligence (especially empathy) quotient is high--it pays off in your business and personal lives. 2. Assess this quality (or lack of it) in those you're considering doing business with or employing.  3. Don't surround yourself with The Walking Dead. Fear zombies and run away as fast as you can--they just want to eat your brain.

Copyright Terry "Doc" Dockery, Ph.D. All rights reserved.

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