A DailyMail.com article found that nearly 40% of the highest paid CEO’s in America had faced action due to poor performance in the past 20 years. These leaders were the best and the brightest, and were paid incredible amounts of money to bring success to their companies. This trend doesn’t only exist only in the highest profile jobs. Leadership breakdowns happen everywhere. While there are a lot of different factors that can cause leaders to fail, one that seems to show up again and again is when leaders fail to recognize the relational component of leadership. Leadership is a relationship, and when it’s not treated as one, it’s doomed to fail. Being a good leader means being committed to relational health. Here are a couple of relational reminders that will make you a better leader:
Have Honest Expectations
No one’s perfect. You are not and neither are the people you lead. There’s nothing wrong with casting an incredible vision for your company or church, one that seems almost impossible. It’s something else entirely to demand the impossible from your staff or employees. Unrealistic expectations and demands erode confidence and will eventually cause those who work for you to quit or rebel. Be ambitious but honest in your expectations.
Always Leave Your Door Open
Relationships are only relational if communication can flow both ways. If you only talk to (or at) your employees, they will soon believe that you don’t care about them and think that you only see them as a means to an end (which hopefully isn't true). Be open for feedback. Take time to hear people out. Listening to critiques or the other side of an argument doesn’t make you weak. After you have heard someone out, you may choose to still stay the course, but occasionally you may gain insight that you didn’t have before, allowing you to change direction and be more effective.
Leadership is a relationship, and if you fail to recognize that, your leadership will likely fail as well. Respect and take care of the people who follow you, not only will you be winning as a leader, but you will be winning in life.
The DailyMail.com article that I referenced above can be found here
Photo courtesy of Death To Stock Photo