When my wife recently embarked on a top-secret mission to solicit letters from relatives, friends and work colleagues for my 40th birthday, she wasn’t sure how to categorize a few people as she assembled the letters.

Were they friends or work colleagues? One such individual was Joe Takash, who undoubtedly is a friend first, and a colleague second.

That’s because Joe is so committed to developing meaningful, transparent, fully engaged relationships that go beyond “getting the job done.” And as a result, when there is a job to get done, it is accomplished far more effectively than if our connection were business first and relationship a distant second.

Joe is president of Victory Consulting, a performance management firm based in the Chicago area that specializes in the areas of leadership, customer/client service excellence, presentation skills and employee motivation. For more than 20 years and over the course of more than 3,000 speaking programs, Joe has been on the frontlines of personal and professional development.

Spreading the Word About `Results Through Relationships’

So it’s only fitting that I readily agreed, at Joe’s request, to help get the word out about his recently published book, Results Through Relationships: Building Trust, Performance, and Profit Through People. (Wiley, Sept. 2008)

Our relationship began seven years ago, after I e-mailed Joe to compliment him on the practical, humorous truths he was sharing in “A Kick In the Attitude,” the business/motivational column he would go on to write for six years for Star Newspapers in suburban Chicago.

Since then, our friendship and burgeoning business partnership has been a microcosm of what Joe lays out so well in his excellent book. At the heart of what Joe preaches–and it stems from what he practices and so commandingly guides his clients to practice–is transparency and an obsession with adding value to others’ lives.

Three months ago, I wrote “The Art of Effective Confrontation,” detailing Joe’s mentorship of me. The post was sparked by my reading of The Five Dysfunctions of A Team, a bestselling business book by Patrick Lencioni, who (fittingly enough) endorsed Results Through Relationships. (See how it all comes full circle?)

By now, people who have come across my LinkedIn account have read the glowing recommendation that I wrote about Joe. But what they haven’t seen is the longer version, which I edited because it was so gushing that I was concerned it may come across more like a eulogy.

I am pleased to confirm that Joe Takash is very much alive and beyond that, Results Through Relationships is an engagingly written, practical guide to helping people individually and organizations overall to infuse their days with greater effectiveness.

Unmistakably, the book is geared toward helping people get more out of their work relationships. But the principles and how-tos that Joe spells out will benefit those who mine the precious gems sprinkled throughout its pages and apply the recommendations in their day-to-day lives.

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