One Thing You Must Do Today and Every Day

If you can only do one thing today, connect with your team.

Performance requires connection.

7 reasons for weak connection:

  1. You don’t like them.
  2. Bad memories create distance. You let someone down so you avoid them. They let you down so you rule them out. You had a tough conversation that makes connection feel strained.
  3. You need to know-all and solve-all. Fear that you won’t be able to meet every need, solve every problem, or answer every question prevents connections. If you get too close, they’ll see your weaknesses.
  4. You can’t say no. The prerequisite to opening your heart is the ability to say no.
  5. Frantic schedules and conflicting agendas.
  6. Power and authority give permission to stand aloof.
  7. They’re self-centered soul-sucking back-stabbers.

Avoidance establishes distance.

7 principles of avoidance:

Avoidance accounts for weak teams, negative environments, and lousy results.

  1. You get what you avoid. If you avoid problems, you get problems. If you reject connection, you build silos. If you hide your heart, your team becomes passionless.
  2. Avoidance sets the height of the bar. Every issue you sidestep becomes your future standard of attainment.
  3. Tolerance is passive avoidance.
  4. Blameshifting is protective avoidance. 
  5. Silence is permission. The things you don’t bring up continue.
  6. Avoidance empowers destructive energy.
  7. A blind eye is space for negative stories.

Connection defeats avoidance.


Commonality bridges distance.

I met a man from Maine before a recent presentation. I’m a Maineiac too. We raved about Maine lobster. I’ve forgotten most of the names I learned in Baltimore, but not Joe from Maine.

Stories reveal commonality.

Every leader needs to know the formative stories for everyone on their team.

Connection begins when you say, “I know what you mean.”

Shared experiences, goals, purpose, vulnerability, strengths, or values are ground for connection.

What causes leaders to avoid connection?

How might leaders connect today?