Leadership is Relational
Leadership is Intentional Influence in the context of Relationship
Have you ever noticed that some people are naturally more relationship-oriented, and others are naturally more results-oriented? The thing is, we tend to see others as we are, not as they are; we tend to see people through our eyes, not through their eyes.
Understanding your unique personality and the things that motivate you are essential to understanding how to lead yourself well and understanding other peoples’ personality and the things that motivate them are invaluable to understanding how to lead others well.
Knowing the difference between what it is that drives you and what it is that draws you, and how to harness both of them, can actually create more growth, fulfilment, and satisfaction for you, your team and your organisation. Before I started to understand this, it often used to feel as though I was stumbling about relationally, trying to find my way around somewhere in the dark.
“Relationship skills are the most important abilities in Leadership.”~ John C Maxwell
Have you ever found yourself needing to find your way around somewhere in the dark? Maybe it’s due to a light bulb failing, or a sudden power cut and the entire building is in darkness.
There was one occasion when I was riding by motorbike back home one dark night, and while I was cranked over going round a bend at around 65 mph when my headlight stopped working – the bulb had blown. Fortunately there was nothing else on the road I was able to slow down to a speed where I could see with the dim light of my sidelights, but I still recall how scary that moment was!
Actually, I used to creep around in the dark quite a lot as a teenager, deliberately. No, it’s probably not what you’re thinking! You see, I had picked up this irrational fear of the dark, and I started to imagine some 007 like stranger dressed all in black, hiding around every corner waiting to jump out and attack me. So, one day I decided to face that fear and I intentionally started to walk around the house in the dark.
I still do that today, although these days it’s more likely to be for a trip to the bathroom at around 3 in the morning! I learned to reach out to touch something familiar like a wall, or a piece of furniture, or a doorframe.
Well it really helps to know the layout of the place first, so that I can avoid going anywhere near the lamp we have sitting on a small table on our upstairs landing. The lamp base is quite fragile so it would be really unfortunate, and noisy, to knock that off! Of course, it’s much more difficult to walk around a place in the dark when you don’t know the layout of the place: where the furniture is, where the doors are, where the bathroom is, or where that fragile lamp base is!
Relationships can sometimes feel like we’re stumbling round in the dark too. It would be really helpful if we knew the layout, or rather the personalities involved.
It would really help to know:
- whether they want to talk things over, or would rather have time to think things through,
- whether they like to have loads of questions answered in detail, or just want the big picture;
- whether they want to quantify exactly what the outcome will be, or how it will make people feel;
- whether they’ll get to the end of the week and say: “we had a great time”, or “we got the job done”.
“The most important single ingredient in the formula of success is knowing how to get along with people.”~ Theodore Roosevelt
Understanding how to create a vision that is inspiring and compelling for your team is a vital part of effective leadership; understanding how to communicate that vision in every interaction with your team is fundamental to the effective delivery of your dream after all Leadership is about Imagination, Influence and Interaction. We need to learn to see other people as they are, not as we are; we need to see people through their eyes, and through their understanding and their experience, not through our own.
About Roger Fairhead
Roger is a leadership specialist delivering Leadership for Business Achievement through Speaking, Training and Coaching to business leaders and entrepreneurs.
“He is articulate, tracks complex issues with ease and has an incredible gift for raising pearls of wisdom out of the murky depths of people and process.” His passion is to help people to learn effective leadership skills to lead their teams to capitalize on their strengths and passions to realize their dreams.
Leadership for Business also invests into the dreams of families in the world’s underserved communities to offer them small loans that empower them to invest in their future, to provide for their families and give back to their communities.