Each day I wake up I spend the first part of my mornings indulging in “self-care”. This ritual includes devotional time, prayer/meditation, reviewing goals and physical exercise. In my devotional reading this morning I ran across a passage that talks about a branch not being able to bear fruit if it is severed from the vine and the vines that don’t produce fruit are cut away and the vines that do produce fruit are pruned to produce even more. I thought about how this message relates to organizations and leadership.
The vine is the example of the leader, the branches are the people and the fruit is the result.
In Stephen Covey’s “Seven Habits of Highly Effective People”, Habit #2 is “Begin with the End in Mind”.
The purpose of any organization is to produce results, whether that be customer experience, profit, increased sales, helping more people or whatever the end looks like for your company. Who or what drives that result? Whose responsibility is it to ensure that the organization will reach the goal to get to the desired result? IT’S THE LEADER. However, the leader (vine) cannot do it alone. The leader must be connected to the branches in order to produce the result.
I remember working in a government agency years ago where elections rather than profits determined the leader. When the leader took office there was the period of “newness” where people didn’t know what to expect. They were frightened and afraid that their jobs might be in jeopardy or maybe the way we “do things around here” would change and they may not measure up costing them their jobs. The fears and concerns were warranted because the newly elected leader was cut away from the branches. In other words, the leader did not build relationships with the people. Because the people felt disconnected and cut away productivity suffered and high turnover was the result.
How can leaders avoid being “cut away” from their people? Simple: Build Relationships.
People are complex, or so we think, and we believe that building relationships has to be complex. It is not. What it DOES require is that you become more aware. In fact, you cannot build relationships with people unless you become more self-aware. Leaders who have different communication styles soon find out that relating to people who are different is no easy task. As a matter of fact, sometimes you may look at a person sideways as if they have two heads because they sound crazy when their mouth opens. Sometimes it is crazy, yes and sometimes it challenges our own awareness of how we’re showing up to build relationships as leaders.
Here are three questions to ask yourself to see if you’re “cut away” from your people:
- How well do I know the people on my team? (Hint here: Team size doesn’t matter)
- Do they know me?
- Do they understand me?
If you’re not connected to the people you lead, your organization’s “fruit”, i.e. results are falling from the tree and dying – GUARANTEED.
If you’re that type of leader who struggles with connecting with people and building relationships and want some private help, please email Tracy@GetRelationshipCurrency.com to get exclusive coaching to get the results you want and not the ones you have!
Tracy is a thought leader that trains and inspires leaders and organizations to stand out and be market leaders in their industries by building strong relationships.