Mastering relationships matters for many reasons in leadership. This skill set to master relationships distinguishes good leaders from the great. This ability to foster trusting connections with people you work with is often the catalyst for progress. It will help your team to effect change for the better in your organization.“Without mastering collaborative relationships, both inside and outside the company, we won’t produce the outcomes needed to win our customers’ business.” Click To Tweet
— Lori Beer, chief information officer, JPMorgan Chase
The entirety of the Bible is focused on relationships. How we live in relationship with God and others. We are called in in Mark 12:30-31,
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”
This directive as we know centers followers of Christ to an understanding of how important relationships are. For us leaders, we begin to see that how we serve people in our organization is anchored in the relationships we have and the love we have for others as shown in Proverbs, 20:28,
“Love and faithfulness keep a king safe; through love his throne is made secure.”
How we love and serve others in our leadership anchors our authority as those who serve Christ.
Leadership is Relationship
In my early days of leadership, I attended a three-day workshop called TRAC 5000 led by Dr. Jim Lundy, author of the American best-seller “Lead, Follow, or Get Out of the Way.” Jim was my personal friend and a long-time mentor. During the workshop, Jim introduced: Process…as well as Content. Although I didn’t fully understand his teaching during the workshop, Jim was introducing me to the concept that relationships are key to effective leadership.
My first action step from the workshop was to create a mission statement for our company. A few weeks later I called a company-wide meeting to introduce our mission statement. During the meeting, I explained to our people the meaning behind the statement and asked if they had any questions or suggestions to improve it. Since there were few questions and little discussion, I figured that they understood and agreed with the mission statement. Next, I found a printing company (we did it this way back in 1989) to type-set and print up copies for everyone.
A few days later Jim Lundy stopped by my office to see how I was doing on my action steps. I shared with great excitement that I had completed my first one. I showed Jim the mission statement that I created and explained how I called a company-wide meeting to introduce it, and how I shared the meaning behind it with our people, and since there were few questions and little discussion, I was going to have copies printed for everyone.
Mastering Relationships Through Follow-Up
Jim was really excited as well. However, he suggested before going to the printer, that I go back to our people one more time for any questions or suggestions to improve the mission statement. I was taken back by his suggestion. I had already met, and it seemed too costly to bring everyone together again. He said he understood, but again suggested going back to our people one more time. He had one of those “just trust me” looks on his face.
Mastering Relationships in Meetings
Well, a few days later we scheduled another company-wide meeting for our people. To look over the mission statement so they could ask questions and make suggestions for improvements. During this second meeting, all of a sudden questions and suggestions came out of the woodwork. People really got engaged, and our people had some very good suggestions. I walked out of the meeting feeling that everyone, and I mean everyone, truly understood our mission statement.
In fact, since the second meeting went so well and after making the suggested changes, I called a third company-wide meeting to show the suggested changes. There was even more discussion for understanding, and a few more good suggestions were made. It was amazing how excited our people were over this. This was the first time that I could say company-wide every employee was of one voice and on the same page.
Understanding the Concept of Process… as well as Content
This experience helped me finally understand what Process…as well as Content was all about. At first, I was only focusing on the Content (the results of having a mission statement so I could check it off my list of action steps.). Jim helped me understand the importance of good Process (enhancing relationships between me and our people and between each of our people.) By encouraging our people to be actively involved in the decision, we built a peak-performance TEAM that achieved desired results.
Pause and Reflect: Mastering Relationships
- Why do we tend to overestimate the value of the Content (the results we want to accomplish)?
- Why do we underestimate the value of the Process (the relationships we want to enhance to build a TEAM)?
- Are you mastering relationships in your organization?
Related, Articles, Videos, and Podcast Episodes
- Supporting Your Team During Peak Seasons
- The Driving Force of Motivation
- Build Your Team Through Trust
- Sustainable Service and Stewardship with John Pellowe
- Fostering a Biblical Worldview with Robert Bortins
Please share your thoughts <here>, and please share this blog post with a friend.