Bob Schultek
Author of
The Gauntlet

“You cannot continuously improve interdependent systems and processes until you progressively perfect interdependent, interpersonal relationships.” ~Stephen Covey 

A leader’s ability to improve results depends on the strength of her or his relationships. Organizations are living entities and relationships are their lifeblood. 

Building strong relationships is not about the amount of interaction but rather the quality of it. Leaders earn their right to lead through these interactions. A leader’s commitment, credibility and authenticity are constantly assessed. Are promises kept? Are contributions appreciated? Are openness and integrity standard behaviors? Is there a willingness to do more than expected, to lead from the front, engaging with their team to make things better, risking as much or more than them? 

Strong relationships enable improvement breakthroughs. These don’t happen until the people impacted by a change are actively engaged with their leaders in designing and implementing it. And that participation won’t be forthcoming unless they choose to follow their leader, believing that doing so will make a difference for them and the company. 

Strong leader-team relationships can transform an improvement initiative from a list of tasks into a creative exercise, bringing the company’s purpose to life and moving it towards its vision and aspirations. This sense of creation releases a productive energy that motivates and bonds a team around shared ownership and responsibility for the initiative, producing momentum that delivers progress, meaningfulness and satisfaction. This in turn strengthens commitment to the organization, fueling growth and sustainability. 

How strong is your relationship with your team?

How have you relied on this to improve results?