Think about the variety of people you’ve met in your professional life, especially the managers and leaders you’ve worked with.
I’ve worked with a wide diversity of people as I’ve spoken to 2600+ clients over 33 years. See if your experience matches mine.
A few that were very nice but not competent.
The majority were very competent and very nice.
But the third category puzzles me most: the very competent but not particularly nice.
These people weren’t necessarily mean, negative or unpleasant (although a few were). Mostly they just weren’t nice. They weren’t personable and seemed to be oblivious to the relational aspect of the job or just didn’t care.
Maybe they thought being nice wasn’t necessary.
Perhaps they weren’t willing to exert the effort that relationships require.
Or maybe they believed that if they got results, their lack of interpersonal skills would be forgiven.
The question I would like to ask: How much more successful might you have been had you not sacrificed relationship at the alter of results?
All great leaders know that they can only get results through the people they lead. The hardest balance to maintain is the tension between results and relationship. If you get results at the expense of relationship, you’re known as a tyrant. If you have good relationships but few results, you’re just a nice guy or a nice gal and you likely won’t get more opportunities to lead.
The best leaders are able to achieve both. They are willing to do the hard work of balancing results with human resources, and being nice enough to create and maintain positive relationships.
Results and relationships: how good at you at each?
Mark Sanborn is a bestselling author and acclaimed leadership keynote speaker. For more information about his services, visit www.marksanborn.com.