Imagine for a moment that you purchased a brand-new car that had the shiniest new wheels. It had the prettiest paint job that you’ve ever seen and it’s your favorite color. This car could go from 0 – 60 mph in three seconds. You put the key in the ignition and turn, but nothing happens. You pop the hood as you get out of the car and you realize the battery cables are not connected to the battery of the car. You then understand that your beautiful car with all its bells and whistles is useless. The battery, which is housed under the hood of the car, is the source of power that makes the car operate at its fullest capacity. Without that battery, you would just have a beautiful, shiny car that looks good, but is powerless and has no life.
Leaders, if your organization, team or group is the car, you are certainly the battery that will either bring power and life or you will have a vehicle that may or may not look good on the outside, but is dead and unproductive on the inside. Are you connected to the people you lead? If you are, how strong is your connection? If not, why not? The good news is that whether you are connected to your followers, or not, you have time to make things better.
Leaders, we must build relationships with our people. We must show a genuine interest and concern and let them see that we care about them. Not every leader is a social butterfly; however, we must sometimes step out of our comfort zones to build these relationships. Make no mistake about it! It is our responsibility as leaders to initiate these relationships and make sure those bonds are established. Afterwards it is still our responsibility to cultivate those relationships to the point of building trust and mutual respect that translates into great working relationships, higher production rates and a positive culture where people can thrive and grow.
Some of the things successful leaders do establish these relationships are as follows:
1. Spend time with your people - Have functions in the workplace as well as outside of it. Also, allow some functions where people can bring their families. Get to know them too.
2. Be a great counselor – formal and informal counseling is a great way to open communication channels and get to know your people better. This is effective only if you are a good listener.
3. Be an awesome mentor - Set the example for what right looks like. They will emulate
what they see you doing.
Leaders, be the battery that provides power, life and growth to your organization, group or team. When you have successfully made the connections that creates or reinforces positive bonds, you will notice that your organization will become a powerful, productive one with a culture that reflects the connections that you have made with everyone you lead.