Your future shrinks or expands in relation to the strength of your connections.
Depth of connection determines breadth of influence.
3 dangers of disconnection
- Feel blindsided and violated by negative feedback. Disconnection gives birth to feelings of persecution.
- Come off as uncaring. Disconnected leaders can’t see the negative impact of their behavior on others. Lack of self-awareness excuses and justifies disconnection.
- Lose talented team members and create disengaged followers. Team members interpret disconnection as rejection.
Isolated leaders tell others they don’t matter whether they intend to or not.
Too busy to connect
I smile and wait for excuses when leaders say they’re too busy to connect with people. An excuse is justification for tolerating the unacceptable.
Too busy to connect is…
- Ignorance about the true nature of leadership. Leadership is about people, not things.
- Incompetence in regards to relationship building. Competent leaders deliver results through relationships. Ineffective leaders treat people like tools.
- Inability to execute on priorities.
- Stubborn refusal to adapt to others. Don’t be deceived by smiles and soft tones. A leader who is too busy to connect is a mule regardless of their appearance.
Apart from connection, organizations are clusters of people bumping into each other.
3 ways leaders connect in busy environments
- Prioritize. Connect with people who have the biggest impact on team success. You can’t connect with everyone.
- Maximize. Use ‘coffee pot’ time. Ask others-focused questions while pouring coffee or walking down the hall.
- Where would you like to travel, if you could go anywhere?
- Who had a big impact on your life when you were a kid? How?
- What are you learning about being good at…?
- If you could retire tomorrow, what would you do with your time?
- Systematize. Demonstrate the value and importance of relationships by scheduling regular one-on-ones.
What prevents leaders from connecting with others?
How might leaders become better connectors?