Many leaders are so unremittingly focused on climbing the corporate ladder that they forget to connect with the people they lead along the way. What they forget is that leading is not just about climbing. It’s about connecting too. John Maxwell described this well when he stated, “Leadership is relational as much as positional. If you climb without connecting, you may gain authority, but you won’t have many friends.”
You may be asking why this is important. It’s important because leadership is a measure of your influence on other people. Nothing more, nothing less. People who climb the ladder but do not take time to connect with followers along the way will very soon find that there no longer anybody following them at all! And if nobody is following you, you are not really leading!
In the long term, your leadership will be exponentially more successful when you take the time to connect with people, the time to focus on relationships, the time to seek cooperation and partnerships, the time to build bridges. John Maxwell also said, “Not many people are successful unless a want them to be.” That hits at the very heart of the important of connecting with your followers. You need to create relationships, forge alliances and breed loyalty. This is what connecting is all about. This is ultimately what leadership is all about as well.
Another way to state this is it’s not the amount of times you climbed the mountain, it’s the amount of times you have come back down to help another person climb up. Do not be threatened by bringing other people up the mountain with you. This is what breeds true success in an organization. As a leader, you need people. You need people who are loyal to you and are willing to follow you to the ends of the earth. You instill this loyalty in them by building a bridge and bringing them to the top alongside you.
Finally, John Maxwell said, “Your candle loses nothing when it lights another”. This rings true in all aspects of leadership and human relations. You’ll build your strongest team by forming connections with those you lead.
Robin Trehan B.A, MIB, MBA