5 Neglected Strategies to Connect with Others and Lead into the Future

Four years ago, I asked Henry Mintzberg for the word of advice he most frequently shares. His response is a guiding light.

He said one word, “Connect.”


Leadership in its fundamental form is about connecting with others.

5 neglected strategies to connect with others:

#1. Seek to advantage others.

Self-seeking leaders employ deception and manipulation to achieve self-serving ends.

Trust is the conviction that you have another’s advantage in mind. You’ll do no harm. If necessary, disadvantage yourself for the advantage of others.


  1. Who might I know who can help?
  2. What resources can I provide?
  3. What are your goals? How might I pull with you?

Evaluate yourself by asking, ‘How am I seeking to advantage others?”

Frustration decreases and fulfillment increases when others believe you always seek to advantage others.

#2. Be curious about others.

Everything doesn’t have to be about you.

  1. Let go of quick judgement.
  2. Ask second questions.
  3. Reject inclinations to out-do.

#3. Give second chances.

Come alongside after responsible failure. Explore learning. Reestablish forward direction.

Draw a line in the sand and let go of offenses. Don’t expect a pat on the back.

Generosity doesn’t demand reciprocity.

#4. Adapt to others.

The more authority you have, the more important it is to adapt to others. Reject the idea that followers adapt to leaders.

If you’re more talented, intelligent, or powerful, meet people where they are, not where you wish they were.

Adjust your pace to others. Walk alongside.

#5. Release the need be right.

Relationships are more valuable than being right.

Proving you’re right means others end up being wrong.

How might leaders establish and strengthen connections?