Relationships Versus Leadership

Effective leadership is a complex combination of skills, knowledge, and other “personality” qualities all rolled into one person or role. Find the right combinations, and your leadership career will prosper. But how important is it as a leader, to build great relationships based on trust and respect?

Our focus at LeadershipMentor.net is to teach new leaders how to be more successful. The reason we enjoy the new leaders, is because they typically are not “locked in” to a communication or leadership “style”. They are open to learning how they can approach their new position to be successful. Try to sell an experienced leader that building relationships based on trust and respect is vital to success, and they will usually point out their great track record without this focus. In other words, they simply use positional authority to get things done, rather than influence.

So how can you build relationships with those around you, that are truly based on trust and respect?

• “Walk Your Talk”-people watch and listen to your every move. If you are asking for team members to adhere to the dress code, you need to do the same. What you do is more important than what you say.
• “Know Your Team”-get to know those you work with. Where do they live, are they married, do they have children, etc. Relationships are not build only on business related topics. Balance the business areas with the personal, making sure not to step over the line with regards to personal information.
• “Build Equity”-you need to give before you can take. Do more for others than they ask for. Beat the required deadlines. Deliver more than asked to deliver. These things will make others “want” to return the favor at a later time, and building that relationship is that much easier.
• “Work Hard”-nothing says more to those around you than putting everything you have into your work. When people see that you are dedicated to being successful, they will see you in a more positive light. This does not mean working 12-15 hour days. Rather, spend your normal 8-9 hours really being productive.

Building relationships takes a lot of work. It will initially seem that you are putting much more “into” this cause than what you are getting out of it. But think of it like watering a seed you recently planted into the ground. If you provide the water and nutrients the plant needs now, the plant will produce fruit later on. And never count on your “positional authority” to do what relationships can do for you.