July 31, 2009 Chris Fuller

More on Moving ‘Anchors’ to ‘Racers’

Leadership and connectedness is a process. It doesn’t happen in a day – it happens every day.

I’ve said it so many times, it’s almost become cliché – “Leaders go for the heart, Managers go for the hands.” And along with that, “We Lead People, we manage things”

Are there any among us that woke up this morning with the thought, “I hope my boss manages me today!” or “If only my boss or spouse would just manage me more!”

Doesn’t that just raise the hair on the back of your neck? People, as a general rule, have no desire to be “managed”. They are built with that internal desire to be free and independent… yes we have some level of a herd mentality – and yes, some people do need more hands on attention than others – but that does not mean that the majority want us to “Manage” them.

What I have found in people is that they welcome caring counsel, or advise from a trusted source – they hunger to be inspired and for someone to live a true model in front of them. In fact, they will gladly follow the ‘lead’ of someone that meets that criteria!

In the 2000 Goleman study, it was discovered that 70% of Employees perception of their working climate was tied to their leader’s Emotional or Relational Intelligence – their leader’s ability to connect with them relationally. If 70% of their job satisfaction and motivation is tied to our ability as leaders to connect with them – beyond just “managing them” – how profound of an impact can it make when we as leaders grow our relational skill set? Or determine to connect more authentically with our people? I believe that we would have far more racers than anchors!

People will follow – bigger, better, further, and faster – when we connect with their hearts instead of just trying to leverage their hands – when we aim for their heart – we get commitment – when we aim for the hands – the best we can hope for is compliance. How much more will our people ‘race’ when their hearts and hands are committed and connected to the mission?

So, how do you connect and lead your team?

“When it comes to team leadership, you lead your people one person at a time.”

Each person’s needs vary in some way or another – they will view life and business just a little different than each coworker – and the more diligent we are at connecting with them as individuals with their unique nuances– the more influence we will have with each – and “Leadership is Influence”

Consistently, I ask leaders what business they are in – and after they reply – I suggest that their response may be their product – but as leaders – we are all in the “People” business.

Maybe, just maybe – if we learn our people and connect with our people – they will be inspired to give more. How can they not be? They will be more connected and, relationally, when we are more connected we feel more obligated to not let our friends down.

Have a great weekend!

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