Career Advice from a Country Song

I was in Florida over the weekend visiting my 86 year old dad.  I was listening to a country station as I was driving around.  I don’t listen to country music very often.  I’m a rock and roller.  However, when I do listen to country I enjoy it. 

As I was driving, a song came on that reminded me of the career advice in Tweets 133 and 134 in my career success book Success Tweets.  Tweet 133 says, “Resolve conflict positively. Treat conflict as an opportunity to strengthen, not destroy, the relationships you’ve worked hard to build.”  Tweet 134 says, “Settle disputes and resolve differences quickly.  Don’t let them drag on.  Engage the other person in meaningful conversation.”

Getting back to the song…I might not have it exactly right, and I don’t know the name of the song, but the line went something like this…

“I’ll start walking your way, and you start walking mine.  We’ll meet in the middle under that old Georgia pine.”

I’d like to load this song on my iPod.  If you know the name of this song and the artist, send me an email (, and I’ll send you a hard copy of Success Tweets.  I’m sure you know that you can get the eBook for free at

Regardless of the name of the song or who sings it, there is an important message here about relationship building and career success — you have to move towards other people if you want to build and maintain relationships with them.

Sometimes you need to go further than the middle to build and maintain relationships.  I always advise my career success coach clients to take 100%, not 50%, of the responsibility for building and maintaining relationships. 

While that Georgia pine may be in the middle, successful people know that sometimes that have to go beyond it to build a successful relationship.

And, there’s another point – the lyrics say, “I’ll start walking your way…”  This is important career advice. Don’t be afraid to go first when it comes to building relationships.  When you start walking toward others, they are more likely to start walking towards you.  In other words, go first.  Extend yourself – especially when you find yourself in a conflict situation.

Several years ago, I had a friend who was quite formal in his manner.  He used to say, “I don’t speak to people to whom I haven’t been introduced.”  This might be great in Victorian society, but it won’t help you create the  life and career success you want and deserve.

Go first; don’t be afraid to introduce yourself to others.  Put yourself out there.  Say hello.  Do something nice for someone else.  Take the initiative to resolve conflicts.  Don’t let them linger.  That’s how to build and maintain strong relationships. 

One of the  chapters I wrote for the bestseller, 42 Rules for Creating WE is entitled, “There is No Quid Pro Quo in WE.”  In that chapter, I suggest that while there is nothing wrong in returning a favor, the power lies in extending yourself by offering the first favor – taking the first step toward the other person; being willing to walk beyond that Georgia pine to make the relationship work.

The common sense career success coach point here is simple. Relationship building is a key career success competency.  If you want to build strong relationships with the important people in your life, you need to extend yourself.  You need to take the first step towards other people, and you need to be willing to go beyond half way.  When you’re willing to go first and willing to go beyond half way you demonstrate that you sincerely want to create and nurture a relationship with other people.  Just as important, you can’t let conflict – especially minor conflicts — destroy relationships.  As Tweet 134 in Success Tweets says, “Settle disputes and resolve differences quickly.  Don’t let them drag on.  Engage the other person in meaningful conversation.”  Relationships are everything when it comes to career success.  Do whatever it takes to build and maintain them.  Don’t let conflict destroy the relationships you’ve worked so hard to build.  Start walking towards others.  Don’t stop until you’ve connected and built a relationship.

That’s my career advice on taking the initiative to build strong relationships with the people in your life.  What’s yours?  Please take a few minutes to leave a comment sharing your thoughts with us.  As always, thanks for reading my daily musings on life and career success.


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  1. Meet in the Middle – Diamond Rio

    I’m putting that song on a CD for my husband for our 10th wedding anniversary. We used to listen to it as teens. 🙂

    ..we gain a lot of ground cuz we both give a little..

    I thought this was going to be about “Take This Job and Shove It” haha

  2. Thanks for your response Katie.
    Several people wrote and told me about “Meet in the Middle.”
    Tomorrow is my 20th wedding anniversary — and we too “gain a lot of ground cuz we both give a little.”
    Email me your snail mail address ( and I’ll send you one of my career success books.
    All the best,

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