Have you witnessed how much time really effective leaders spend building relationships? It is a continuous effort, a constant part of what they do – asking questions, listening, trying to understand what people are thinking, looking into what is happening from the perspective of others.
Leaders with the most inspired, engaged, and effective organizations spend most of their time building relationships with and among people. They naturally break down barriers and connect silos (see my post about silos here).
What is really going on here? Every conversation, every new link made, every experience shared, every new person engaged builds the health of the network. What network, you say? The communication and relationship links across functional borders, across physical and geographic separation. There is nothing profound about saying that people who are great “connectors” make it tons easier to get things done. Great leaders within complex organizations intentionally and actively build links and connections – targeting the connections that most powerfully affect the way work is done, the quality of the work experience, the effectiveness by which the team accomplishes the mission.
I have often used the word “enabling” and “catalyst” to describe the impact of a servant leader. How is such impact achieved? By acting to enhance the way the human networks in their world work.
Imagine the improvement in influence and effect you would have if you constantly focused on improving the way the people in your life connect, share, and bond. For many, it would be a transformative change. Every moment spent in that state would build the effectiveness of others.
Try it out. Go beyond the surface level and find out what is going on in the world of folks you meet and know. Look to make a connection, to offer to help.
I have been inspired recently by Steve Beecham, a master networker and motivational speaker. Take a look at Steve Beecham’s Bassackwards Business: The Power of Helping Without Hustling. His website is http://www.bassackwardbusiness.com.
And let me know what you think.
1. What Are the Most Important Things Great Leaders Do? (psychologytoday.com)
2. How Leaders Create and Use Networks (hbr.org)
3. Six Rules of Leadership Networking (leading effectively.com)