Enduring and Trusting Relationships at Work

No matter where you are in your leadership journey, your buoyancy hinges on relationships.  There is a lot of focus on burnout at the moment with executives and professionals.  The starting point in dealing with stress and burnout is usually a quick audit of where and how you are spending your time. 

This process often leads to the question: “What can you delegate or handover to someone?  Here is where some struggle because they have not taken time to develop someone who can deliver at their level.  That is not completely true, closer to the truth is, they have not developed someone who they can trust to deliver at the same level.  

Every successful leader knows the role of relationships.  Not just for getting things done, but as part of their growth process.  Someone once said that relationships are the mirrors through which we see ourselves as we are. You can argue that but the truth is that they are good mirrors.  Trusting relationships can hold us accountable and point us to the right direction.

To lead authentically from the core of excellence requires developing the capacity to build relationships. Authentic leaders influence through relationships.  They thrive on connections built intentionally and consistently by living out their core values every day.

Leadership today is more of relationships than anything else.  Yes, good strategies, effective execution plans have their places, but without the connection with your team and organizational members, those will be nice documents to have. 

How do you build effective relationships as a leader?  When can you find the time to dedicate to building these relationships?  

This is what I hear from executives, “I will really like to develop these relationships but there is so much to do and I am spread so thin”.  

Let me guess, you are really busy with steering the wheels of the organization and meeting shareholder expectations.  You have to meet with investors and potential investors, that there is little or no time left for relationships.  

What if I say that is good excuse, because it is?  Don’t miss the point here, it is an excuse pure and simple.  Bill George, once said that the reason some leaders fear close relationships run deeper than these excuses, it is because most leaders fear having their weaknesses and vulnerabilities exposed. 

Authentic leaders strive for close relationships and make it a central tenet in their leadership. As matter of fact, real leaders use their vulnerability as a strength.  Through vulnerability they build connections and strong relationships.  To relate is to be connected to something or someone. By being vulnerable as a leader, you are giving people opportunity to relate to you.  It is a strong tool in building enduring, trusting and dependable relationships.    

Did I mention that competition among executives is one other reason why relationships suffer?  Is competition that poisonous?  I don’t think so.  

How about, I am an introvert and struggle with making friends?  First, we are not talking about friendship although that is important.  By focusing on building relationships, friendship will develop where necessary.  Introverts are equally good leaders.  

For professionals aspiring into C-suite, C-suite roles are far-fetched if you do not know how to cultivate and build enduring and trusting relationships across levels.  To develop this capacity or help your emerging leaders develop leadership capacities for effective transition into the C-suite roles, connect with me through the button below.