Creating Strong Family Relationships

Relationships Matter

If you were to ask someone what their most important relationship is, the answer would most likely revolve around a family member. My relationship with my wife is most important to me. My children are the most important people in my life. Or I love and cherish my parents.

But if you were to ask them how they’re creating strong family relationships, you’ll probably get a blank stare. They know their family relationships are important yet they’re struggling to build strong family ties because of everything else going on in their lives.

Family relationships are vital

Photo by Suzana Sousa

We’ve all seen the results of weak family relationships. Marriages crumble into divorce. Children hating their father or mother. Parents and children no longer on speaking terms. These situations happen even to those who claim their family is important to them.

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…

The Various Relationships A Leader Must Juggle

I remember watching an entertainer juggling multiple balls at once. Up in the air goes one ball as another falls and still there’s another ball somewhere in-between. Over and over again, the entertainer would keep the balls in the air. All while making the skill of juggling look simple.

Man juggling on the beach like you must juggle relationships

Photo by Juan Pablo Rodriguez

But juggling isn’t simple. Juggling takes coordination and practice. Which I found out after I tried my hand at juggling (you don’t want to see any videos of that!).

The older I got, the more I realized relationships were much like the juggling entertainer. You have to work at keeping the different relationships (balls) moving (the air) all while dealing with what’s going on around you. Tack on the duties of a leader and you really have a show.