How Leaders Expand Their Future and Enhance Their Success
Your future shrinks or expands in relation to the strength of your connections.
Depth of connection determines breadth of influence.
3 dangers of disconnection
- Feel blindsided and violated by negative feedback. Disconnection gives birth to feelings of persecution.
- Come off as uncaring. Disconnected leaders can’t see the negative impact of their behavior on others. Lack of self-awareness excuses and justifies disconnection.
- Lose talented team members and create disengaged followers. Team members interpret disconnection as rejection.
Isolated leaders tell others they don’t matter whether they intend to or not.
Too busy to connect
I smile and wait for excuses when leaders say they’re too busy to connect with people. An excuse is justification for tolerating the unacceptable.
Too busy to connect is:
- Ignorance about the true nature of leadership. Leadership is about people, not things.
- Incompetence in regards to relationship building. Competent leaders deliver results through relationship. Everyone else treats people like tools.
- Inability to execute on priorities.
- Stubborn refusal to adapt to others. Don’t be deceived by smiles and soft tones. A leader who is too busy to connect is a mule regardless of their appearance.
Apart from connection, organizations are clusters of people bumping into each other.
3 ways leaders connect in busy environments
- Prioritize. Connect with people who have the biggest impact on team success. You can’t connect with everyone.
- Maximize. Use ‘coffee pot’ time. Ask others-focused questions while pouring coffee or walking down the hall.
- Where would you like to travel, if you could go anywhere?
- Who had a big impact on your life when you were a kid? How?
- What are you learning about being good at…?
- If you could retire tomorrow, what would you do with your time?
- Systematize. Demonstrate the value and importance of relationships by scheduling regular one-on-ones.
What prevents leaders from connecting with others?
How might leaders become better connectors?
Love the focused questions!
Thanks Brigitte. Now if we can just ask them and listen to the responses. (even ask a follow up)
Great pearls of wisdom: “Isolated leaders tell others they don’t matter whether they intend to or not.” “Apart from connection organizations are cluster of people bumping into each other.” ” An excuse is justification for tolerating the unacceptable.”
I am grateful for the daily thought-provoking and edifying information. Not only from you Dan, but also from your experienced, insightful, and benevolent posters. No where else have I found such respectful and helpful commentators.
Make it a great day!
Thanks Jackie. I’m with you. Many of the comments I read here expand my thinking in important ways. Cheers
Absolutely, Dan, connections build businesses, relationships, communication cables, etc.!
As Leaders we need to prepare ourselves daily to be ready for new relationships, don’t change what works. Seek new methods for searching out connections, social media, seminars, public gatherings and “be ready for the unexpected”! You never know who is nearby searching for your expertise, and likewise, you may need their expertise. Remember everyone has a niche’ sometimes you have to give a little to gain a lot.
Thanks Tim. “Prepare ourselves daily to be ready for new relationships.” I think the idea of preparation for relationship is important. We wake up thinking about tasks and deliverables. We need to wake up ready to deliver results through relationships. Many leaders think they are too busy to think about relationships, when in the end, leadership is about relationships.
Your opening line is so true. Which is why poverty is much more than a shortage of money. It is about relationships. The poor are disconnected. And even those with money, if they are disconnected, then in actuality, they are impoverished – they just don’t know it. Thanks, Dan. And thank you for the suggested questions. What a good way to connect with people. I find the need for relationships is the most important aspect to my roles as pastor and high school teacher.
Thanks Pete. “Poverty is much more than a shortage of money….” Powerful.
Often as people move up the organization chart they start to focus only on those at or above their new level.
I have always believed that real knowledge and thus power comes from having strong support and ties from those below you in the firm.
Thanks Brad. Glad to see you here today. Yes! It can be tempting to look up the chain to build relationships. Remember that the people below you impact the way the people above you think about you.
One can truly build relational capital with purposeful networking. You never know who knows who! #networkingisasport
Thanks Lynne. The term ‘relational capital’ is useful. We value so many things. Sadly, some feel relationships are cheap. I bet we would feel different if the monetary value of people.
Thanks, Dan! I tend to get so focused on completing tasks that I forget to work on relationships. This was a great reminder of what’s truly important.
Thanks Elaine. Your comment is what motivated this post. I do the same thing. 🙂
“An excuse is justification for tolerating the unacceptable.” This is so true! Everyone can relate to trying to find an excuse to avoid something they know they shouldn’t have avoided. Thank you for sharing your insights like this. They get me thinking of past situations and I have noticed over time I realize them more in the moment, giving me the opportunities to do the right thing. I also like the examples given in ways to connect in a busy environment. Getting to know people and caring about them is very rewarding, most leaders don’t realize it until they actually start doing it 🙂
I like the coffee pot conversation starters. I used to do the same thing in meetings, but not enough the rest of the day, something I am trying to work on.
I also added coaching for engagement to my amazon wish list.
I love the coffee pot conversation starters. I am a firm believer in relationship building and I love and look forward to your posts. I am a relatively new leader in my high school and I am trying to learn as much as I can to be an effective and successful leader. Thank you for your wise words.
Misguided priorities keep us from connecting.