Gallup reported a few years ago the number one reason why people take a job is due to pay, benefits and the satisfaction they will receive from doing the job. The number one reason why people leave a job? Answer: poor quality in the relationships they have with others–primarily their boss.


Here’s more research reflecting how important the relationship is between an employee and their boss. Buckingham & Coffman, (1999) revealed “In organizations of all types, public and private, large and small, for-profit and nonprofit, relationships — particularly with leaders — are one of the single greatest predictors of employee performance, satisfaction, and turnover.” (Reeves, The Learning Leader, 2006.)


Whether you have direct reports or not, if you want to become an effective leader, the writing is on the wall: you must become masterful at developing relationships.



In an effort to deliver results, some leaders use a Turn-over Accelerator Tool. They drive top performers from the organization like a chef waves-away flies from a meat-covered grill at a picnic. Instead of building relationships, these bosses destroy them.


A friend, who is a member of the President’s Club for salespeople within her organization, related this story:


“At our last convention the President stood before us and basically told us how bad we were doing, and then told us the changes he was implementing. He said, ‘If you don’t like it, then maybe you’d better find another company.’


So I’m sitting there thinking, ‘Well, I don’t like it, so maybe he’s talking to me.'(And she’s one of the best this company has at delivering sales which impact the bottom line!) I literally began to think, ‘Maybe this company isn’t for me.'”


She concluded, “Our President means well. He’s got great vision. He’s brilliant and bright. But his leadership skills suck.”



What sort of relationships do you have with people around you? (Challenge: include your loved ones as you calculate your answer.) Do you have a’ do this –or else’ mentality? Or do you take steps to develop a relationship that allows all parties to thrive?


Leadership doesn’t have to be difficult, because relationships don’t have to be difficult. Here’s one proven way to build relationships: honor people. Don’t just respect them, go beyond and honor them.  Honor who they are. Honor who they want be.


Instead of trying to fix people (the most common approach), honor where someone is right now; then honor their ideas; and to ensure partnership (the mark of a strong relationship), honor their motivations. Participants in our Pathways to Leadership(R) Process will recognize these three steps as the 3 Conditions that Accelerate Change. This proven tool delivers greater results in all arenas of life –“ primarily because it builds relationships.


As the successful Felix Guillen, a proven and successful leader within the automotive industry says, “If you want to build accountability (results), build relationships.”


Where are relationships on your priority list? How effectively are you honoring the people around you? Answer these questions and you’ve just predicted your success as a leader.


What is the difference between what “might be” and what “can be”?  You decide.



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