How Leadership Is A Relationship

For many, thinking of leadership as a relationship is difficult. Too many people consider leadership a position, a role to play. Yet leadership is much more than the day to day activities you partake in to run your organization.

Leadership positions are positions of relationship

Let’s take a surface level look at the relationship between leadership and relationship and then dig deeper.

John Maxwell has a famous quote. Maxwell often says:

Leadership is influence —nothing more, nothing less.

When I frame leadership as influence, I begin to think about influence and what influence means.

What Is Influence?

This is a great question to ask. You need to realize what influence is before you can get into the meat of “Leadership is influence.”

A quick search for the definition of influence returns the following result:

Influence is the capacity to have an effect on the character, development, or behavior of someone…

Why Employees Leave Your Organization

Losing an employee can land a damaging blow to you and your organization. Especially when you lose a good employee.

And every leader tries to figure out the best way to keep the best. But even those employees will leave at some point.

That’s natural. Most employees will leave an organization at some point. Though a lot of times you’ll wind up wondering why an employee left.

Employees leave for varying reasons

Employees Come And Go

 

It’s a difficult idea to face. Employees don’t stick around forever.

The 40-hour workweek is gone. So is the time of an employee putting in 30-40 years and retiring with a golden watch.

Employees are beginning to learn they’re more in control of their future than the organization. And I like to think that is a good thing.

Why You Can’t Treat Everyone The Same As A Leader

Every leader struggles with the desire to treat everyone on their team the same. They think it’s only right.

It’s what we’ve been taught growing up. You have to treat everyone the same. It’s only right.

But is that true? Can a leader really treat everyone the same way?

Treat people fairly, not the same

My answer may come as a shock. It’s not traditional wisdom but it’s what I’ve found works.

We can’t treat everyone the same way. It’s not possible.

Instead Of Treating People The Same

We’ve got to get over the notion that we can treat people the same way. We can’t. Life doesn’t work that way.

And, people don’t want to be treated the same way.

Sally doesn’t like public recognition, she prefers a kind note letting her know that she did a fantastic job.

Are You Guilty Of Setting Uncommunicated Expectations?

If there’s one area that I’ve seen leaders fail in time and again, it’s in setting clear expectations. The expectations leaders typically have for their teams are uncommunicated.

You know the ones… These are the expectations we set in our minds but never let those we’re leading know about.

Clear expectations are a must in leadership

My Unspoken Expectations

We can have these moments in all areas of my life. One of the areas I’ve done this in is my marriage.

When Pam and I first got married, I loved to fish. And I loved to eat fish.

But there was one thing I hated to do: Cleaning the fish.

I had an uncommunicated expectation for this as well. I would catch the fish. I would bring the fish home. Pam would clean the fish.

It was never explicitly stated, but it’s the scenario that ran through my head.

The Overlooked Skill

If you’re in a position of leadership, you often wonder about certain questions.

How’s the company doing? Are we going in the right direction? What difference are we making in the world?

But there’s another question that weighs heavy on the hearts of leaders…

Frustrated Man

Image by Zach Klein

Who should I hire? What traits should a prospective employee have?

The question is never an easy one to answer. Every position requires a different set of skills.

One position may require knowledge of computer coding. Another may require the employee to know how to effectively manage a core team. Still another may require exquisite customer service skills.

It may seem overwhelming searching for someone with the right skill set. And it can be.

And yet the skill set is not the most important thing a prospective employee must have.