Sunday, February 5, 2012

Leadership Is Relationships

Good leaders understand that leadership is the ability to influence others.  As John Maxwell says, “Leadership is influence, nothing more and nothing less.”Bob Burg says, “People will do business and refer others to those they know, like, and trust. ”This is true in the area of leadership.  People will follow leaders they know, like, and trust.  If leaders will get to know their people, respect their people, and value their people, their people will follow them anywhere.  In other words, the deeper your relationships, the stronger your leadership.

Six Powerful Relationship (i.e. leadership) Builders

1.  Practice the Golden Rule. “Whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them” (Matthew 7:12)  In other words, treat others the way you would want them to treat you.  Do you want more respect from those with whom you work?  Then give them more respect.  Do you want more appreciation?  Give more appreciation away.  Do you want more loyalty?  Be exceptionally loyal.  The best way to influence other people is through the awesome power of your best example.  Give away all that you most wish to receive.

2. Walk Through the Crowd Slowly.  Herb Kelleher, founder of Southwest Airlines said, “The business of business is people.”  With the onslaught of new technology, we have more ways than ever to connect with people today, yet at the same time, we’ve never been less emotionally connected with people.  We cannot truly connect with people on a more intimate level through texting and Facebook.  I’m speaking of real human connections, the kind that cause people to believe in you—and go to the wall to help you win. There is extraordinary power in walking through the crowd slowly and getting to know people by talking to them.  Just being out there, having lunch with your teammates and breaking bread with your customers is important.  When people get to know you, they’ll be first in line to do some serious business with you.

3. Serve Your People.  Jesus, the greatest leader in history said, “Whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be your slave, even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve” (Matthew 20:25-27).  All great leaders understand that real leadership is servant leadership. One way of serving others is to help them reach their maximum potential.  The single best move an organization can make is to raise the leadership lid of every single person at every possible level.  Remember, anyone can lead, whether they’re the receptionist or the CEO. And one of the defining behaviors of real leadership is leaving everyone you meet better than you found them. Be one of those great leaders who inspire others to step into their best.  Treat everyone you know like they are VIP’s.

4. Listen, Listen, Listen.  Listening involves more than waiting until the speaker has stopped speaking.  Yet, few leaders have dedicated themselves to being a good listener. When you become good at listening, people feel that you care about them.  When they feel you care about them, they begin to care about you.  And when people care about you, your success becomes a part of how they define their success.

5. Practice Good Manners.  “Manners are the lubricating oil of an organization,” said management guru Peter Drucker.  “Please” means “I respect you,” and “Thank you” means “I appreciate you.”  Leading others requires that you strongly value them.

6. Give Credit.  Former President Harry Truman said, “You can accomplish anything in life, provided that you do not mind who gets the credit.”  Leave your ego at home every morning, and just do some truly great work.  Few things will make you feel better than a job done with excellence.  And the more you focus on adding value to as many people as possible, the more all those ego pursuits, like a bigger title, more money and greater acclaim, will show up for you in the best of ways.

How to Be a REAL Success
In my upcoming ½ day Leadership Workshop on February 25, I will show you how you can become a better leader by strengthening your relationships.  Check out my “How to Be a REAL Success” workshop at