No, no, not the romantic kind. The regular, standard fare, everyday relationships with your co-workers, bosses, friends, neighbors, etc. – that kind. With the pace of business, the always-on life and the continual demand for better results, it’s easy as professionals to miss what really matters. What really matters day in and day out is how we are as humans, how we show up for one another, make time for each other.
In our goal-oriented, metric-driven businesses (yes, you can thank your OnStrategy Team for that), the value of creating and sustaining solid relationships can easily be chucked to the side. But we know that solid business performance comes from a highly effective, high functioning team. At the core of such a team is how each and every person works together. While we can’t change our teammates’ behaviors, we can own our piece of the relationship by coming out from behind our computers, putting down our addictive phones, stop talking about ourselves and start asking and listening. And also being authentic when the hard conversations need to happen and not chickening out.
The tension in prioritizing relationships is making the time. I’m a poster child for that excuse. And while that is true, I would submit more time is wasted dealing with inter-office politics and drama that could be easily avoided if there was a foundation of trust and respect. Such a foundation is the fruit of building great relationships. It is also the foundation of great teams. As a side note, we should not confuse creating great relationships with likability. Just like we don’t pick our family members, we mostly don’t pick our co-workers. You don’t have to like someone to respect them.
I’m willing to bet if we as leaders (that’s everyone) put relationships first, we’d see a radical transformation in our businesses. The OnStrategy Team has had the honor and privilege to work with thousands of teams and leaders, all of whom are aiming for more, more, more – more customers, more employees, more impact. All of that “more” is hollow if along the way we burn up relationships. In 2019, let’s challenge ourselves to lead organizational transformation one relationship at a time because a future that is greater than today is what we are striving for. Why not enjoy the journey as much as the destination.
To all of our clients and readers, thank you for letting us be part of creating your future. Be kind. Slow down. Love one another. Do good. Happy New Year!
Erica Olsen & the OnStrategy Team