The fourth practice in the Great Leaders SERVE model is Value Results and Relationships. This is the most difficult of the five practices for many leaders - it's certainly the most difficult for me. When I ask other leaders why this is so hard, they all know.
It is difficult to value BOTH results and relationships because some of us are more results focused and others are more relational. Although this is true, the good news is that leaders can find ways to value both results and relationships – the best leaders always do. Here’s a three-step process to get you started:
Know your bias. This is usually not the hardest part of this exercise. Most of us are keenly aware of our natural wiring. If you don’t know, ask any of your team members, your boss, your peers, your spouse or your kids – they all know.
Embrace your bias. We’ll assume God knew what he was doing when he made you. Accept it. Your approach to leadership will work just fine - if you embrace step 3.
Compensate for your bias. This is the hard part. You and I must figure out how to compensate for that which we don’t naturally do with ease. Think of it like reading glasses. Once you get to the point you can’t read your watch anymore, most of us decide we’ll compensate by getting reading glasses. With them, we read fine. What we’ve got to find is the equivalent to reading glasses to compensate for our bias towards results or relationships. And, I must quickly add, it is rarely one thing that will adequately compensate for our bias. Here are a few ideas:
If you’re more relationship-oriented, consider the following:
- Be sure your team includes some people who are results-oriented.
- Set goals.
- Post your goals and your progress publically.
- Get an accountability partner – someone specifically charged with asking you about your results.
If you’re more results-oriented…
- Be sure you have some relationship-oriented people on your team
- Set goals around relationship-oriented activities (maybe a goal for how many notes of encouragement and appreciation you’ll write in a year)
- Schedule time with members of your team to check on them – don’t prepare an agenda for the meetings.
When we figure out how to value both results and relationships, we’ll be pleasantly surprised at the outcome.
How are you compensating for your natural bias?