I’m not sure if you did this as a child – but I tried it: Once, I approached my father and shared my frustrations about something mom was doing to me. I think the words started with, “Mom always blah-blah-blah…” or “Mom never lets me blah-blah-blah.” I thought I was being smart – and certainly Dad would see my logic, right?
Not a chance. In fact, not only did he ensure I knew my logic was flawed, but he also seized the opportunity to provide me with a leadership lesson I’ll never forget. Looking at me with his “you’d-better-listen-closely” face, he answered, “Son, don’t ever try to come between your mother and me – because you’ll lose every time.”
The message was clear: Mom and Dad were a team. They were one. And, while I knew I was loved, and a huge priority in their life, their relationship with each other was the ultimate priority. Dad understood that if they didn’t have each other, how could they achieve anything else?
It’s a rare leadership team that understands – and lives – this wisdom. In the typical business climate, loyalty often lies in the “I-gotta-get-mine” realm. Accordingly, leaders place a higher priority on the relationships they have with those who report to them – than the relationships they have with those they work next to and for.
What’s the most important team your managers are on? The team they lead – or their team of peers? How successful can the organization be if one team is delivering its numbers…but the whole suffers from dysfunction?
Who in the organization needs to hear: “Don’t ever try to come between us – because you’ll lose every time”?
Research has shown that the number one predictor of a child’s behavior is the relationship between the mother and father. Could the same be true for employees? How do employees show up for work every day when they know their bosses will fight for each other’s success, defend each other, and are tightly aligned?
This sort of leadership is not only possible – it’s necessary. And you’re the key.