There is one discipline that no leader can do without but too many try. It is that of developing meaningful relationships with key staff and leaders or people of influence in their organization. For instance, I regularly talk with pastors regarding board members that they are having difficulties with and inevitably there is also an absence of a meaningful relationship.

This is not about lobbying these individuals. It is about understanding them and they us which only happens in the context of time together. Relationship is the foundation of understanding and where we have meaningful relationships we are willing to give others the benefit of the doubt rather than judging their motives.

My take is that many leaders are so busy doing their thing and building whatever they are building that they are too busy to be bothered by the time and attention it takes to develop meaningful relationships. Eventually this catches up with them when fault lines appear in the ministry and the very people who the leader needs to help them through have lost their confidence and there is no relational glue to hold it together.

This also pertains to leaders with their key staff. It is easy to neglect relationships with staff members, just assuming that all is well. But in the absence of relationships those staff members have no great incentive to stand by their leader when there is difficulty or conflict. This often catches senior leaders by surprise but it is often too late by the time they realize the situation.

All good leadership is based on relational equity. Without relationship there is little or no equity. If you lead anything, make sure that the discipline of meaningful relationships is high on your agenda.

All of T.J. Addington's books including his latest, Deep Influence,  are available from the author for the lowest prices and a $2.00 discount on orders of ten or more.

  • Nov 13, 2014
  • Category: News
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