Leveraging Relationships for Results
The book that had the most impact on me as a leader while I was working in the corporate world was The 5 Levels of Leadership by John C. Maxwell. Although I have always been a reader, I didn’t discover leadership books until 2008, and I didn’t discover The 5 Levels until 2012.
Join Ria on June 29, 2018 for a COMPLIMENTARY webcast hosted by Association of Talent Development, “People and Production: Leveraging Relationships for Results
In his book, Maxwell shares what the 5 Levels of Leadership are and how to climb up the levels to become more effective as a leader. The first level is the Position Level where you are given a leadership title or position. However, others only follow you at this level because they “have to.” You are the boss. This is the lowest level of leadership (influence).
The second level is the Permission Level where you receive permission to lead others. They follow you at this level because they “want to.” Maxwell states, “Level 2 relies on people skills, not power, to get things done. It treats the individuals being led as people, not mere subordinates…If you want to become a better leader, let go of control and start fostering cooperation. Good leaders stop bossing people around and start encouraging them. That is the secret to being a people-oriented leader, because much of leadership is encouragement.”
After learning this, I dramatically changed my leadership style. I realized building relationships with people would significantly increase my influence.
Great leaders are relationship builders. However, in the corporate world, this is (falsely) assumed to be “soft.” I think some leaders feel pressured to be “harder” when it comes to leadership. I know I did, especially with the people who worked with me.
To be effective as a leader, you must build strong, solid relationships. As Rick Warren stated, “You can impress people from a distance, but you must get close to influence them.”
When you get to know someone and build a relationship, they get to know you as well. They will realize you have flaws, strengths, and weaknesses just like everyone else. That’s okay. Leaders don’t have to be perfect to build trust, but they must be authentic. Admit your flaws and weaknesses and ask others to help you improve them. You will build much more trust and respect when you acknowledge your weaknesses than when you attempt to hide your weaknesses. You don’t have to be best friends with everyone who reports to you. In fact, there needs to be a recognition that, as the leader, you sometimes must make tough decisions related to discipline, resources, or promotions. Positive relationships always increase your influence. Leaders should leverage relationships to get results.
It may not be a surprise to you, but it was a surprise to me when I first realized people do have different types of personalities. I don’t mean people like different kinds of food or have different hobbies. I mean truly realizing different people have preferred styles of communication, preferred ways of interacting with others, and preferred ways of being appreciated, valued, and respected.
A friend gave us a book, The Five Love Languages, by Gary Chapman as a wedding gift. Discovering everyone didn’t have the same “love language” I did was eye opening, not just in my personal relationship with Mack, but also in my professional relationships at work.
When you understand what personality type a person is and what their “love language” is, you can better interact with them by focusing on their preferred style instead of yours. I’m not saying fake the relationship, but rather “adjust” your style to match their preferred style. If the person is quiet and reserved, they may not want public recognition for a job well done. They might feel valued with quiet words of praise but feel mortified when publically acknowledged in a large meeting. Take the time to build relationships by consciously identifying the natural preferences of the people around you. Then, make the intentional effort to make deposits of trust into the relationship using their preferred language and style.
Leaders must build relationships to increase their influence, but they must be balanced to achieve results. Balance means having difficult conversations when a team member isn’t performing, getting work done, or coming to work on time. It can also mean helping a team member see the job isn’t a good fit for them or releasing them to excel elsewhere. Leaders have a job to do and a responsibility to accomplish the mission with and through others. That’s why they are chosen to lead. Balancing applies to parenting too. Sometimes, we must make tough choices and say “no”when we feel saying “yes”wouldn’t be in the best interest of our children. They don’t want to hear no and may not like us much at the time. But, they will usually end up respecting us for it later. Sometimes, much later.
FREE WEBCAST – PEOPLE AND PRODUCTION: LEVERAGING RELATIONSHIPS FOR RESULTS
Friday, June 29, 2018 1:00pm – 2:00pm EDT By: Ria Story, Founder, Top Story Leadership
Our ability to produce results is what makes us valuable to organizations. It’s what they hire us to do—not just as individuals, but also by helping the team or organization produce results. And, we are more effective at getting results when we can learn to build and leverage relationships. Leveraging relationships for results helps us achieve our professional goals and obtain organizational objectives.
In this webcast, you will learn:
- five ways to increase your influence with others
- how to leverage relationships to get results
- how to balance building relationships with getting results
- two important decisions you must make to increase your effectiveness.
REGISTER ONLINE HERE (Can’t make the live webcast? Register online and receive the recording link!)