Relationships are another key to success. You cannot get anywhere on your own. You must be able to get along with people. If you are a leader, you must have a good relationship with those you lead. If you’re a family man, you must have a good relationship with your family. When all things are considered, nobody does anything alone. Having good and sincere relationships with people will propel you further than you could ever imagine. There are a few things I know for sure. One of them is when you get to an older age, the thing you will reflect on most is your relationships. Make them count. 

Manners and etiquette are important in relationships. We must know how to shake hands firmly and look someone in the eyes. We must learn how to listen to someone and give them our full attention. We must know to say please when asking requests and how to say thank you when compliments or gestures have been made. To speak clearly and properly with correct grammar and pronunciation. To be considerate of others. To say “yes, sir”, “yes, ma’am” or “no, sir”, “no, ma’am”. Even table manners must be learned so those you dine with do not think you were raised by a family of feral hogs.

Here are some different types of relationships and how you can nurture and grow within them: 


Family Relationships

Family is a great thing. I love my family, but I realized long ago I’m going to have to start a new Russell family line because something needs to change. 

We have had no family issues that require cutting someone out, but if there was an instance of something seriously wrong then I would not hesitate to make sure my family did not associate with that person again. Because that is what is best for my family. 

No matter what background we come from, or what we have had to deal with, there is only one option: move on. Life has to go forward. If you need counseling to move forward then get counseling. We cannot let family drama hold back our lives. The best thing we can do is make sure we train up our children right and make sure we educate them on what is right and what is wrong. 

I decided long ago:


I love them enough to tell them all of these things, from the day they understand it until the day they leave my roof and I love them enough to discipline them if they do something stupid. Most importantly, I love them enough to let them face the consequences of their decisions. 


Work Relationships 

When you get married, do not get too close with a member of the opposite sex. Don’t have closed door meetings with them, no road trips with them, and do not confide in them. It is a recipe for disaster because you will be providing opportunity for temptation. Even if you are never tempted, you open up a whole list of problems, including gossip about your relationship with that person. You should never put yourself in a position where it is one person’s word versus another, because regardless of the truth, gossip can eat away at your marriage and other relationships. 

I am a big advocate of work relationships. In fact, most of my friendships are work-related. We spend so much time (some of us) at work. Hopefully, we are loving what we do so we have a sense of purpose and passion. People will naturally want to hang out with the honest, fun, sincere, hard workers. Those are all attractive qualities. I know this because if you take the exact opposite qualities it doesn’t sound like someone you want to hang out with. 

Integrity is key here. Being honest with people means not misleading or lying to them. Eventually your BS will unravel, and you will be left with no friends and no career. 

Make friends with the best in the business. They will teach you how to be the best. Inevitably you are a product of your surroundings. So common sense tells you if your surroundings are not good, change them! If you want to be the CEO, you need to act like a CEO. If you want to be a bum then you should act like a bum. 


Friendship Relationships

Sometimes you just need to upgrade your friends. I said sometimes because there are childhood friends that grow with you, or are otherwise good influences. I had very few of those and we see this with professional athletes all the time. They hang around their loser friends from the neighborhood or school and they become a posse or crew. They get cool titles like bodyguard or manager and all of a sudden the successful person is being dragged down by their dirtbag friends. It is not that their friends want them to fail, they just don’t know any better. If the same athlete surrounds himself with successful people, then he is actually learning and improving himself. He becomes the real super star. 


Stranger Relationships

Treat people like you want to be treated. It’s the golden rule. Just the other day there was a truck in the parking lot of Staples with the hood up. I could hear the clicking of a dead battery. I could see an old guy and his wife sweating. It’s 95 degrees in June on black asphalt. I offered them a jump.

Was it inconvenient? Absolutely! 

Would I want someone to help me? Yes!

It was hot, and I had places to be. They offered me money and I refused because it was just a good deed. But most importantly, I would want someone to help me on a hot day with a dead battery. 

Keep in mind there are creeps out there. I’m a big guy that carries a gun and a knife. I’m usually ready for a small battle to break out and can hold my own in a fight. Plus, I’m not very desirable as a kidnap victim. Be aware of your surroundings. This requires using your brain. Think about where someone could be hiding to grab you. Are there lots of people around? Is it dark? Is there an escape plan? So if you’re a 90 lb. girl you don’t need to stop on the side of a dark road to help a guy with a flat tire on his white van. That’s a recipe to get kidnapped. Rhyan (my wife)  read this and mentioned if you are on a date with a 90 lb. girl you should also consider that. Don’t put other people in dangers way. I would stop to help most people on the side of the road, but not if my little kids are in the car, because if things go bad they are exposed. 

The truth is, we need to be good at relationships because nobody does anything on their own and the thing people reflect back on when they are dying (besides spending time with family) is the relationships they have had. Relationships make for a better and more enjoyable life. 


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I’m Townsend Russell with 100% Dad – The Dad Group

We’re preaching over here for dads to step up, be real men, and real leaders of their homes.