Friendships and Connections are very important in life, and business overall. If you look at friendships it plays a big role in almost every aspect of your life. I wouldn't of had my job today if I didn't make the connection with a certain person who gave me a chance to prove myself in the nightclub industry in Hollywood California; which is a very cut throat environment driven on introductions rather then performance. If I didn't have the friends I had, I wouldn't of had the connections to be able to do what I do and also keep in touch with them. Even at work I have to realize who my friends are and how they play a role in my work life.
For instance I get into a new job where everyone has worked for the owner for 13 years, they are all pretty set on what they do and they can talk to the owner directly about anything. They have a friendship with the owner, now for me coming in telling them what to do they might feel as though who is this guy. Honestly if they band together they can get me fired, even though I'm doing my job and watching the owners back. So in this scenario what can I do if someone is giving me a hard time. One I can take a stand right off the back, and say do it or else, realistically if the owner will choose does he fire someone that he's been working with for 13 years and who is his friend, Or me? In a idealistic world you would think someone would choose the manager but realistically most people will choose the friend and seniority even though the positions are different and hold different powers. So what can I do, I can't choose to let someone that works for me disrespect me. So I have to choose my alliances and make it where I have the backing of the others before I can take the stand. Once I have more then half of the respect of the others he will be the outsider and his choice will be to conform to my views or quit.
Business is like war, you either do it physically or mentally win your battles. Call it what you want office politics, business management, staff support it is a war zone if you work for someone else who is the boss.
In the Prince by Machiavelli he describes to the prince that alliances are important if you have a chance to never work with the stronger team because they will eat you up, rather work with second best for you will not be eaten up but instead band stronger together. Then in return you will defeat the stronger team and then battle for the top spot. As I get older I see life differently I know it's a skewed way of thinking but in the real world relationships determine rank and power which eventually makes money. Now take that to the bank!