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Thank you to all of you who helped my new book The Hidden Leader reach #8 on The Washington Post Bestseller list!

Ideas to Improve Your Performance
  • Take stock of the professional relationships that are most important for you to be successful. It may have been a while since you did anything to consciously strengthen them, so why not make that a focus for a couple of weeks.
     
  • For those of you who rolled your eyes-I saw it-or said I don't have extra time for that, I'd suggest that you consider that any influence you expect to have outside of "title or position power" is dependent on those relationships. It is not additive work-it is part of your work.
     

 

Reflections 

Leading Through Relationships

 

"I can only do so many happy hours or lunches!"

 

That was the response of a leader that received some tough feedback. Feedback that indicated clearly, that if he expected better performance from his team, he needed to develop stronger relationships with them.

 

Point missed.

 

Investing in business relationships isn't about happy hours, lunches, golf*, or the oft-dreaded team building exercise. None of those things are likely to hurt relationships, and some positives certainly occur, but they aren't sufficient to create relationships based on value and trust. Strong business relationships are established with expertise, which creates confidence in skills, knowledge, and ability. They are further established by connecting with shared enthusiasm, common concerns, and collective energy directed toward your goals. Add to that, demonstrating consistently that you can be counted on for sound reasoning, good judgment, and clear thinking, and you've got a strong formula for valuable business relationships.

 

None of that requires happy hour, lunch, or golf*. It's the clear focus on what good relationships in business are made of.


 

*I know I'll catch grief from the golfers who believe that the game is crucial for business, but the truth is that golf simply provides a venue with a common interest.

 


 

A slice of life balance           

  • I see a lot of people working for hours on end, but the most effective people I know work in focused short bursts of 60-90 minutes, with 15 minute breaks in between. I've observed that you get more done, leaving additional time to dedicate to whatever you choose.