For almost 10 years, I’ve been writing about leadership and in that time, perhaps one of the most significant shifts I’ve seen has been the willingness to recognize that the key to our success as leaders stems from the relationships we foster and nurture with those we lead.
That we no longer view employees through the lens of Fredrick Taylor’s scientific approach to management – where people are merely assets, and interactions are transactional in nature.
Aside from notions of this being the ‘right thing to do’, this shift from transactional to relationship-based leadership has been proven to create tangible benefits – if not also a competitive edge – for today’s organizations.
In fact, a recent study by Harvard researchers found that when leaders focus on building relationships with their employees, they create conditions that lead to higher levels of organizational commitment, as well as increased employee accountability for their performance and greater satisfaction with their jobs.
This is one of the reasons why I’m looking forward to speaking at the Totem Summit in Whistler, British Columbia later this month because the goal of this conference is building relationships. Specifically, the majority of the conference day involves participating in outdoor activities to allow attendees to interact and engage with the invited guests and speakers. It’s only at the end of the day that attendees will hear speakers like myself share our insights and advice.
This shift in focus in how conferences are designed reflects the current reality in today’s workplaces. Namely, that our ability to succeed and thrive is not simply predicated by the knowledge and skills we’ve accrued, but also by the relationships we seek out to create and build.
Of course, while we might state that building relationships is the key to leadership success, it’s hard to reconcile this truth in the face of today’s faster-paced, ever-changing global environment.
Although we may have access to a greater number of channels through which to communicate and exchange ideas, that doesn’t mean that we’re being effective in creating lasting and meaningful bonds with those around us, and especially with those we lead.
So with that in mind, I’d like to share a few strategies that will help leaders create the proper conditions to truly connect and engage with their employees, and in so doing, provide a workplace environment that engenders greater levels of employee commitment, accountability, and success. Click here to continue reading »”3 Keys For Building Relationships With Those You Lead”