My Best Relationship Advice for Leaders
It’s tragic to fight the battle alone. A relationship with someone who acts with the best interest of others sustains you.
“A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer.” (Hebrew Bible)
My best relationship advice:
#1. Try to avoid attractive idiots.
Quality of people determines quality of connection. Toxic people have toxic relationships.
Who to avoid:
- “I” people. Who do they frequently talk favorably about? Themselves or others.
- Chronic grumps. What is the ratio of joy to unhappiness in their conversations? Some people need to complain to feel powerful.
- Drama mongers. How frequently are they embroiled in the latest tempest? Attention-seekers love turmoil.
- Pugnacious knuckleheads. Do they fight about everything?
#2. Accept zits.
Noticing bad is easier than noticing good.
Look at imperfect people with approval. You might be perfect, but if perfection is your standard of approval, I hope you enjoy shallow relationships.
Nitpicking weakens relationships. It’s easy to correct, complain, and disagree. It takes positive intention and commitment to build up.
Acceptance is the foundation for acknowledging weaknesses, not pretending everything’s great when it sucks.
A little play does relationships good. We loved riding our bikes and playing baseball. In the winter we put on mittens and played basketball in the hay loft. Being good at school had little to do with it.
#4. A difficult genius might be better than an easy fool.
Choose people who think differently, have obsessions, and take a point of view. Boredom sets in when you’re surrounded by head-bobbers.
#5. Choose meaningful over happy.
Good feelings are wonderful; meaning is better (If you have to choose between the two).
Meaningful battles create strong bonds. What makes connections meaningful?
- Learning and curiosity.
- Fighting for something instead of against someone.
- Shared values.
- Suffering together.
Which of the items above seems most relevant to you today?
What would you add to the above list?