Relationships vs. Results – Leading the Right Balance

Most leaders have the desire to have a strong relationship with the individuals they supervise.  How do you find the balance between relationship and strong results? One of the greatest mistakes that I made early in my leadership career was trying to please everyone. It is natural because you want to be liked. However, it is totally impossible and can lead to a train wreck in your career. If you worried more about the number of facebook friends than you do the results at work – then I may be talking to you.

My suggestions on how to find this balance between relationships and results:

1. Focus on helping others to be successful under your leadership and not on yourself. When they are successful – you are successful. They always know when you only looking out for yourself.

2. Being a buddy style leader at work to those you supervise can actually hinder the level of performance especially if they don’t show proper respect for your opinion and direction.

3. Placing high value on their contribution and let them know it often with your actions and words. People are more productive and motivated when they feel their work matters. The greatest gift you can give a rising star is to get them to see and believe they do have real potential for greater work or leadership.  This is a powerful tool that great leaders learn to use.

4. Never allow them to get comfortable in the current level of performance. Great leaders find the balance between pushing them to grow and giving meaningful recognition.

5. Setting clear stretch goals and taking the time to celebration the achievement is really critical to finding this balance. What gets rewarded gets repeated.

A leader’s role is to raise people’s aspirations for what they can become and to release their energies so they will try to get there. ~David R. Gergen

Driving the road between relationships and results

Picture your current leadership is driving in the middle of the road – leaning to the right helps you to give recognition they need – while turning to the left allows you to push them for better performance. Using this steering wheel to find the right balance can be very important to leading the team to higher ground. Are you handling the wheel with the right balance? It may take different turns with each employee to help them reach their potential.

Are maybe you leaning to one side? Your car is out of balance … or you may be playing it safe trying to make everyone like you? GTR

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