Leadership Connection: Connecting to Inner Circle Removes These Threats
by Kate Nasser | 5 Comments »
Leadership Connection Removes These 6 Threats
An article in Inc. magazine, 9 People You Must Remove From You Inner Circle, offers some solid advice for creating a top notch leadership inner circle. Yet one tip it offers continues the myth that you don’t need to maintain relationships. It suggests that the need to check in and maintain relationships means the person is needy and therefore a threat to success.
There is a difference between needy people who only produce when you connect with them and those who produce well through maintained relationships and collaboration. You wouldn’t want very needy people on the leadership team. Yet, leadership connection with those in your inner circle is not the same thing as catering to the needy.
Leadership Connection Removes These 6 Threats
- The Common Sense Threat. Many leaders have failed from the assumptions they live. I call it the common sense syndrome. They don’t communicate and clarify what they mean for they believe it is just common sense. The antidote to the common sense syndrome is two-fold: stronger relationships to ensure all are comfortable questioning what the top leader says and of course, communicating expectations. Leadership connection sustains this comfort and keeps the message clear and unified. Related post: Leaders, Common Sense Doesn’t Actually Exist.
- The Threat of Disjointed Efforts Instead of One Circle. Top leaders like to believe that once leaders in their inner circle understand the vision and mission, all efforts will connect to reach the goals. The truth is you can get many disjointed efforts that do not unite. As the inner circle leaders lead their teams, challenges, constraints, and time pressures often block cross-team communication. Inner circle leaders who check in with each other replace the threat of these disjointed efforts with teamwork and communication. Leadership connection makes a significant difference.
- The Threat of the Ordinary. No matter how inspired you stay as the top leader, inspiration does not automatically remain high among your inner circle of leaders. Your regular connection with them removes the threat that daily work becomes dreary and ordinary. Leadership connection is not a touchy-feely waste of time. It builds morale and sustains greatness. Leadership connection fuels success.
- The Threat of Protection. People are people no matter how inspired or talented. When you as top leader frequently check in with your inner circle, you develop intuition about them and can spot the littlest change in their behavior. If they are struggling over whether to tell you about a mistake, you will prevent the threat of protection by drawing them out. Whether they are protecting you or themselves, leadership connection can prevent the threat of protection.
- The Threat of the Needy Label. When your leadership approach is “come around when you need something”, your inner circle leaders will be concerned about looking needy when they do come to you. When you check in with them on a regular basis, you define connection as the vehicle for success instead of the sign of weakness.
- The Threat of Conflicting Workplace Cultures. Top leaders who reach out to their inner circle of leaders and engage them, model a culture of employee engagement. If you assume your leaders know how to engage their team members, you create the threat of conflicting workplace cultures. People generally lead from their comfort zone. If your inner circle leaders are not naturally comfortable with engaging employees, they too will lead with the message “come around only if you need something.” You will end up with a less than engaged organization and results fall short of what they could be.
Traditional leadership theory and practice operated on the belief: “come around when you need something” else don’t bother. Many claim it worked well. Perhaps in more command-and-control static business environments it was effective because it saved time. However, when you look more deeply at leadership inner circles of the past, they did spend time building and maintaining relationships — be it on the golf course, over drinks after work, or at frequent fund raisers. Certainly in today’s ever changing business world, leadership connection and strong relationships matter just as much or more.
Do not fall into the trap of connecting only when there is a need. In tough times, strong relationships speed collaboration and solutions with a unified purpose. Get to know each other and maintain relationships. Leadership connection makes a big difference.
From my professional experience to your success,
Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™
Leading Change Requires Networking Our Inspiration
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Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™, delivers coaching, consulting, training, and keynotes on leading morale, employee engagement, teamwork, and delivering the ultimate customer service. She turns interaction obstacles into interpersonal success. See this site for workshop outlines, keynote footage, and customer results.
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Loved this one too Kate.
I think you brought my attention to how our management work! My manager motto is that don’t come to me unless there is a disaster! This of course irritate me coz I sometimes become confused what to do without referring to him but on the positive side, that made me independent in my choices and made a better leader of me. I have full control over my group but I still feel disconnected as my manager doesn’t know what I do!
Thanks again for the enlightment Kate
From my perspective, independence is better than dependence and inter-dependence is better than all of it. Certainly it’s good for each leader to feel they can handle their responsibilities. Yet I have seen great leaders do that while still connecting for maximum inspiration, clarity, and engagement.
Many thanks for your applied insight here!
Thank you Kate. Although I have sold my businesses and am an author/speaker, I lead study groups.
Your insight is valuable. I love this quote you made, ” Inspiration is not a touchy-feely waste of time. It builds and sustains greatness. It fuels success.” I am an inspirational speaker and writer.
Thanks for inspiring to be better leaders in whatever place we are now. Be blessed. bloom on.
Thank you Jan for contributing to this post. I wish you continued success for it flows from your spirit to all those you touch. I love your idea of “study groups” and would be pleased if you would tell us what that is and how you got started in it.
Also, as a speaker you may want to join this new professional speakers directory — for direct connections to meeting planners and decision makers with no middle handler. It is the brainchild of Kimb Manson — an incredible One Sheet designer who many of us have used.
Warmest regards and I do hope you will share your “study group” thoughts here.
I have more problems than one with the Inc. Magazine article you cited for it contains an implicit assumption that the “you” to whom the article is written is somehow better than all of the 9 types listed. If that’s the case then number 10 is surely that narcissist reader at the head of the table. Look, all of us have problems and imperfections.
There’s a part of us that’s a “devilish advocate” whose ego is too big or too negative or too jealous. There’s a part of us that’s our own “raving fan” that fosters self-deception. There’s a part of that’s an “inside scooper” who likes to evaluate and talk about others’ motives…etc., etc. This kind of overly simplistic labeling does little good except provide the petty cold comfort of feeling we are somehow superior to everybody else. The labels miss the fact that to each of these types is a stand-in for a living human being with many sides and attributes. I say, we should get to know the full depth of those around us rather than just their bad habits. And get to know the parts of ourselves that we can so easily condemn in others, so that when confronted with a person who shows some of the signs, we have a way to notice without condemnation — and maybe even find a smile of self-recognition.
The alternative is putting a mirror at the end of the empty conference table and calling the meeting with the only one left that you find you can trust.