June 30th, 2020
Filed Under: Adelphean Compass

by Tammie Pinkston — Past International President

Part Four – Leading with Relationships

We ended Part Three – Leading with Actions with the challenging but critical task of delegating to your team.  Each of us knows that uncomfortable position of being accountable for key contributions to your organization, but perhaps not responsible for actually getting it done. That’s one of the most important aspects of leading with relationships.

Another consideration is that being a leader assumes that you are someone people want to follow.  To accomplish this, the prior 3 dimensions are critical: (1) know yourself, (2) have a vision of what you hope to achieve and (3) be consistent in your behaviors.  Inspiring and knowing your key relations is critical in the best of times; in our time of pandemic and protest, it is even more so. 

If you have never had your team undertake personality, motivation or leadership assessments, now might be a good time.  Not only will you gain insight, but others may gain information about themselves which is helpful to know under these circumstances.  Knowing your team and other key stakeholders with whom you are concerned, is helpful to explaining actions and reactions and managing expectations.  Hopefully, you will find that you are surrounded by diverse relationships and personalities. This diversity helps expand thinking and perspective, which in the majority of situations, allows you to reach better outcomes, achieve better results, and bring more people along. 

Of course, when you have diversity of thought, everyone doesn’t fall in line easily or necessarily agree.  Be prepared for great debates and be prepared to resolve conflict along the way.  Conflicts are often tied to communication issues, assumptions, and perceptions.  There’s likely not a right or wrong answer, but as the leader, you can guide others through helpful discussions to align and move forward as a team.  It won’t always be easy, but great discussions inform others and gives everyone a voice. 

Reflect on a recent conflict that your team experienced.  How effectively did you assist in resolution?  Did the discussion lead you to a stronger outcome?

If it sounds hard, it’s no surprise.  One of the tools you can exercise to help you build confidence and competence is defining a Personal Board of Directors (PBoD).  This PBoD shouldn’t just be your friends, but it should represent skills, knowledge and abilities that you may not have or want to improve.  Your PBoD offers you a safe sounding board, especially if members are outside of your work relationships. 

Think about what skills you need on your PBod and where you might find individuals who have them.  Define how you will prepare to engage them, when, and how.

In these past few weeks, I believe we have all connected with people we haven’t talked to in awhile and challenged what we accepted as normal or right.  Each chat serves a purpose — you gain information, insight, and reinforcement from each one that you can use to continue developing yourself as a leader.   The memories that these conversations bring forward reminds you of how far you have come. And clarify where you want to go – pandemic, protest, or not.