10 Ways to Become the Leader Others Value
It’s not “just” business.
The greatest “ship” in leadership is relationship.
The priority of relationship came home to me in a follow-up call with Bob Buford. Bob was mentored by Peter Drucker. Their mentoring relationship turned into a life-long friendship that he writes about in, Drucker & Me.
Bob explains nine things Peter did for me. But, when I asked which of the nine were most valuable, he paused and said, “None of them.”
The most important thing was having a relationship with Peter.
Bob valued the relationship, first.
Leaders either drive results through power and authority or relationship. Both have their place.
Nothing is more important than building relationships – that drive results – with current and future leaders.
Every aspect of leadership is made better in the presence of strong connection.
10 ways to become the leader others value:
- Move to connect. If you want people to connect with you, connect them. Begin by showing interest in their interests.
- Be really great at something. Weakness invites sympathy. Skill invites respect.
- Move first, when it comes to seeking the highest good of others.
- Give more than you take. Don’t be needy or greedy. Practice generosity.
- Be big; live wide. Pour energy into solving important issues. Make the world better.
- Be honest with compassion. Avoid defensiveness.
- Connect with those who desire connection. Don’t waste time forcing connections that aren’t mutual.
- Identify common goals and shared values. Shared values give connections value. Common goals establish common connection.
- Find mutual admiration. One-way relationships, may be necessary, but aren’t fulfilling, over time.
- Complain less. Press for progress, even if it’s small.
Bonus: Help people get where they want to go.
Relationships enrich, expand, and extend every aspect of leadership.
What qualities in you, draw others to you?
What a great post Dan. I love “The greatest “ship” in leadership is relationship” and have never heard that before. Thanks for the insights into Drucker and the leadership insights that followwed.
Thanks Alan. I feel so grateful for my conversations with Bob. The people I’ve met and talked with enrich my life.
Thanks for the mention of the “ship” sentence. I just bang these posts out. After I read you comment, I thought I better check. A google search brings up this blog post. I guess it’s mine. 🙂
Have a great week
I personally follow 4., 9. and 10. rules………… its a great blog
Thanks ksfinblog. Best for the journey.
I believe your caption on your picture says it best. “The leaders we value, value us.” The connection, the caring, the respect for our skills is what draws us to successful leaders. When a leader believes in our abilities we want to live up to their high opinion of our expertise. We want to do everything to impress them even more.
When a leader only values one worker over others we feel devalued and sidelined. I’ve seen this in business and I’ve seen it in schools.
In my classroom I knew I (the teacher) was judged by how I treated the most disenfranchised student. When I could say to the student that everyone else disregarded, “I admire you” and then tell them why in front of their peers, I gained the respect of all my students. That is what turned my classroom into a community. That is what eradicates bullies. Bullies have no power when everyone is valued.
Show me a company or a classroom where everyone knows who is the favored employee or student, and you are looking at an unworthy leader and a dysfunctional environment.
That is what I believe.
Thanks Duana. Love the idea that we want to live up to the high expectations of those who value us. We shouldn’t miss the idea that those who bring out our best are those who believe in us.
Always a pleasure.
This is a vital conversation, as it deals with the crux of leadership: the leader-follower relationship.
It is important to understand why people value us as leaders in the first place. A leader’s role is to influence a group so it can focus collective effort and resources on a common purpose. Leaders have 5 principle methods to influence: a) Reward b) Coercion c) Useful expertise d)Interaction or referent influence e) Position. Rewards (other than genuine thankfulness) have their limits due to limited resources. Repeated or unnecessary coercion breeds resistance. Positional influence must be earned by demonstrating associated responsibility. Expertise that serves to improve the group’s performance and mission is valuable. Showing off that expertise for personal acclaim is not. Referent power can be used for positive influence when the leader’s attention is focused on the needs of the organization and its people. When it is focused on the leader’s popularity, referent power can sway popular votes, but it doesn’t do much good for the group.
What, then, should the leader do to be effective? Love the group, espouse its mission, work to ensure it is effective for those who value its goods and services. Don’t love the position of leadership and the perks that come with it. Assume accountability for outcomes, as a steward of the lives and resources with which the leader is entrusted. Work continuously to improve, ask forgiveness as required, and step aside if it is better for the organization that someone else lead. If you’re a “leader in the middle”, as most of us are, lead both upwards and downwards.
“To thine own self be true”.
I believe the greatest thing I can do is realize I am just a spiritual being having a human experience, just like everyone else.
Just an eachness in the allness of God.
Everyone got here the same way, all going out the same way.
Leveling the playing field……then others have an openness to connect with.
Then just share my experience, strength and hope ONLY. No BLOVIATING EGOTISICAL BULL allowed.
Just be a real broken mending human being trudging the road of happy destiny. PERIOD.
That will attract the ones I have something to share with, the others they need to find the people they connect with and stay away from me. No ill will intended, I just see MILLIONS of people trying to get along with Millions of other people they are NEVER going to connect with. What an EPIC waste of time, which is VERY valuable. We all have the exact same amount of time, why waste yours?
I say UNDERSTAND this is just how it is and it is COOL. This frees one to just concentrate on the ones you do resonate with instead of struggling to try to connect with people who are never going to get you.
It is like me trying to get a Vegan to love steak, like me. They are NEVER going to make that change and see how STUPID and USELESS it is for me to waste my time trying to change them. Let them be and go find another meat lover and have a great steak together!
Sure they will lie to your face and tell you everything you want to hear but in their self talk they think you are a jerk who does not get it. Move on, not everyone is going to like you. You do not like everyone so what makes you so special to think everybody is going to like you? They do not, TRUST me even though they will lie convincingly right to your face.
These are the kinds of things one learns when people are really honest like in AA. We lie, we die, could be a long slow painful death! Cool position to be in actually. In the world without lying dying as the back drop everyone just tells everyone what they want to hear, pretty much. Not always, just a lot of the time.
Trust me 30 years of working with drunks one can learn a thing or two about spiritual beings so take what you like and leave the rest. Learning from the best liars cheats and thieves is a great learning opportunity for how spiritual beings having a human experience act.
Thanks Dan for repeatedly posting some great thoughts. Today’s post is the best. I particularly like the caption- ” Leaders who we value value us” . So true. I have and continue to experience this. In my journey in Hospitality Industry , I have particularly valued this Leader and his inputs who exhibits great knowledge and insight of the Industry and is open to educate and mentor. I have benefited immensely through him . Like wise he is open to suggestions and advice . Both of us have benefited mutually and are good friends now.
It’s not what we can get from others but want we can give to others and make them a better person . That is a leader being valued because he/she valued others more even from those that one can’t anything from.
Building relationsships seems to be the key to everything….
#10 will likely be key for me as we approach the launch of our 1st satellite campus in September. Hitting small successes and highlighting them for my team will be quite valuable for a while.
We all know relationships are important—even vital. But why?
Are relationships more powerful than method? More effective than delivery? More determinant than quality? More significant than lesson?
The more persons in our charge know, the more they relate. The more staff members trust, the more they relate. And the more they relate, the more they learn!
Dr. Drucker spoke these sage words many years ago: “Celebrate not closing distance… Celebrate opening a relationship!”
I really enjoyed your post. I was busted, however, I have been quite sick and had chemo (not for cancer) and have been quite withdrawn from most things except my writing. It seems that this week has marked the end of my family’s patience as my husband and kids have all expressed a feeling of being shut out and ignored, although no one ever just comes up and says that to you nicely. Its tears, grumbling, tantrums. While I have a valid cause that isn’t of my choosing, I don’t like to see those I love upset either. You have given me some encouragement and some strategies. Thank you very much.
Our County Superintendent taught me a valuable lesson in leadership when he shared these words of advice, “Hire for character, train for skill.” Words of wisdom.
Wonderful Post Dan! Thanks first of all.
The values are the things that I believe that are important in the way I live and work which applies to leadership qualities as well.
They determine my priorities, and, deep down, they’re probably the measures I use to tell if my life is turning out the way I want it to.
When the things that I do and the way I behave match my values, life is usually good – I’m satisfied and content. But when these don’t align with my values, that’s when things feel… wrong. This can be a real source of unhappiness.
This is why making a conscious effort to become a leader who can be valued the most is so important.
This affirms everything that I believe about leadership. You have such a great way of articulating essential tools in an easy to digest Jenner. Thanks for all you do to inspire effective leadership!
Hi Dan and thanks for a really fine source of info. To you and all folks looking-in: I’m a Newbie here but offer a slice of information re: Leadership Style and its place in our hearts. As Vince Lombardi said: “Leaders are made, they are not born; and they are made just like anything else that has ever been made in this country – by hard work.”
Now there can be no question about the importance of leadership, the impact it has on organizational performance, on culture and on employees. But, why is it important to know one’s own leadership style? Does it even matter?
For me, the ability to provide leadership at any level of an organization is an acquired process. If you believe that organizations evolve through life cycles then it is not a big leap to believe that people at all levels must continue to expand and refine their skills. A good example of this is the “Information Age”. So, it behooves us to think about some of our current traits and our style in working with other folks. An awareness of our current tendencies, or default behaviors, form a basis on which to add information from the other topics about providing leadership.
It is worth noting that any one person’s leadership style can be identified as a combination of personality, knowledge/skill and experience that manifests in words and actions. One person responds to another person’s words or behaviors to the degree that the words and behaviors have some match with the person’s perspective, which is, in turn, based on personality, knowledge/skills and experience.
Finally, those who think and write about leadership continue to offer new perspectives on leaders, followers and tasks. Daniel Pink offers the idea that we are already moving from the Information Age to the Conceptual Age. (Revenge of the Right Brain) The messages are pretty much the same, whether the source is academia or industry: You can be certain that in your career you will have roles that ask you to provide leadership, and roles that have you being led. Your understanding of how to work with others will matter in all roles.
Just mentoring my eldest son on these very principles Dan. Great piece