Relationships – The Lost Art of Leadership

jay-larsonLet’s face it, we have all worked for, or currently work for, a company who at the top of their Mission, Vision, and Values statement claim, “We put people first,” or “Our people are our greatest asset.” I have no problem with organizations making this statement because, if you really think about it, it’s true. Without the people in the organization, there wouldn’t be an organization.

However, he problem with this is that we don’t really think about it that often. We make ourselves very busy with the creation of policy and procedure to ensure everyone is treated equally and that everything is fair. There is nothing wrong with that, unless we get out of balance and treat everyone equally bad. Or, worse yet, forget to treat them at all!

We all intrinsically know the power relationships have on our lives. We can all think back to that one teacher or coach who seemed to connect with us and really make a difference. For me it was Mrs. Cosgrove, my sixth grade teacher. It may be an old boss or co-worker who just seemed to care about us and would mentor us or listen when we needed to get something off our chest.

Relationships are one of the most powerful tools that a leader has in today’s workplace but they’re also the most under-utilized. We make time to get our reports in on time and accurate. We make time for the board presentation. We make time for the hundreds of e-mails and voicemails that come through every day. But, when asked to spend some time with our team to make sure they have what they need, we just can’t seem to find the time.

We all know the old adage, “People don’t leave companies…they leave managers.” A Gallup poll of more than 1 million employed U.S. workers concluded that the number one reason people quit their jobs is a bad boss or immediate supervisor.

But, it may not be the people who leave that you need to worry about. Gallup also mentions that poorly managed groups are on average 50% less productive and 44% less profitable than well-managed groups. Ouch! Isn’t that what the procedures are for? Isn’t that what the reports are about?

Over the next few weeks, I will share series of articles that deal with the bottom line. Here is the bottom line: Your people ARE your greatest asset and your calendar and workflow needs to reflect that.

Otherwise they’ll leave you…or worse yet, disengaged and unproductive, they’ll stay.

About the Author
Guest author Jay Larson is an international consultant, speaker and facilitator focused on helping individuals and organizations alike create real and lasting, positive change.

One Response to Relationships – The Lost Art of Leadership

  1. Dina Simon June 14, 2010 at 10:37 am #

    Love this message Jay!! Thanks for your contribution to Express!!!!

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