Personal Growth & Development

The Power of Worthy Intent and Relational Capital

Ed Wallace, Managing Partner of The Relational Capital Group (, is the celebrated author of the award-winning book, Business Relationships That Last. In the book, he teaches the powerful lessons of the Principle of Worthy Intent and Relational Capital:


The Principle of Worthy Intent is the inherent promise you make to keep the other person’s best interests at the core of your business relationships. It speaks to your character.

Your credibility and authenticity have a major impact on your success in a business relationship, and it all begins with your worthy intention – taking time to show interest in your prospect’s or client’s business and personal goals, passions, and struggles.

In simplistic terms, it reflects your desire to serve people, to pay attention to them, and to make their agenda, your agenda.  The Principle of Worthy Intent is all about your character. 

Your “intent” is the underlying psychological factor that drives your behavior. We try to determine other people’s intentions toward us based on body language, facial expressions, tone of voice, and actions – at times, we may judge someone’s intentions as harmful or negative, or at other times, in a more positive light.

Demonstrating your worthy intent begins by asking questions, establishing commonality, and displaying integrity and trustworthiness, such as:

  • Tell me more about your passions.
  • What are you personally looking to achieve today?
  • What is a key personal or professional goal?
  • What keeps you awake at night?
  • Looking ahead three years from now, what does success look like?

Once you establish the Principle of Worthy Intent, there is almost no limit to what you can accomplish with your business and personal relationships.


Your ability to create relational capital with clients, prospects, and centers of influence is a meaningful way for you to distinguish yourself. There are three essential qualities at work in the creation of Relational Capital – credibility, integrity, and authenticity.

Your credibility, integrity, and authenticity represent the foundation upon which you are able to build relationship capital in today’s business world.

Credibility is the quality that makes others believe in you, your words, and your actions. Credibility is the outgrowth of your professional competence. Integrity is being trustworthy in actions and character. It is the quality of having honest and truthful motivations. Authenticity is the quality of being genuine. It is about being who you are.

With worthy intent as your guiding principle, credibility, integrity, and authenticity are easily recognized and valued by your clients, prospects, and centers of influence. 

How can you apply the lessons of worthy intent and relational capital in your business?

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