Leadership: the key is to connect.

Written on: December 11, 2017

In: leadership by Elisa Coleclough


When I think what the organizations can improve, I focus on their leadership. First things first, leader does not equal to manager. A manager has to grow her/his capabilities to become a leader, an influencer of people, and one of the keys to success is communication. Communication is not always as effective as it should and that is because it may lack truthful connection.


The problem with managers is that the time spent in their daily operational activities is higher than the time spent on their people, equipping, training, developing them. A manager is like the quarterback of the team, does not have to score every time, but has to know to whom is going to pass the ball so the game keeps its edge.


The point is that when we are in a leadership position, whether this position is middle or high level we need to understand that we are not alone any more, we are part of a team. Thus we will be measured by the impact our team has in the organization results.  The way we use to achieve results shifts from being single players/contributors to being influencers. When we influence and distribute the activities that our team has to perform successfully depending on each person’s abilities, skills and motivations, the results do make a difference.


The point is that we simply tend to focus on the activities and workload and overlook the people we are delegating to. The people is the most valuable asset within an organization, and believe me it is also one of the most expensive. Some organizations regard the overhead as an expense, the best organizations regard people as an investment. After all, organizations are handled by people for people and it is them who make a a difference.


The layers of any organization are affected by who is the head. The head knows how to transmit the vision, mission, goals and motivate people, then the department thus the company’s results will be impacted positively.


I always go back to this example: when I get to a place and the front desk person receives me with a smile and positive attitude I already have a positive view of that organization. Have I talked to the CFO or CEO? No, but certainly the impact that the lady/guy in the reception has caused is already imprinting in my head a “verdict” for the place. We judge all the time and we do it by the way we feel, the way we are treated. Even if it is on the phone or personally, when someone really listens to us, that person is already breaching a gap, is trying to understand our situation.


The point is that sometimes, employees working in non-customer service areas forget that they too are part of an organization and are creating an impact. The example comes from head down whatsoever. So if the supervisor takes the time to get to know his/her team players and understand where they are coming from, the motivation, vision and not only their abilities and skills, that person is about to make a difference.  When we understand that people are different from one another and we need them for their giftedness, is when we connect.


Let’s put an other example, think about a man/girl you feel attracted to. He/she is very good looking but for some reason you never seem to connect, in the long run communication or the lack of it, will play a key role in developing or not a relationship. The same happens in an organization, when we know who we are working with, understand their inner drives and what makes them unique and we leverage that in favor of the group, we are creating synergy. The person feels valued, useful and contributing to the bigger picture, and the team favors from the different talents each member has.


I have seen though supervisors or managers who do not even know the names of their reports, how can these “bosses” attempt to achieve any result?  I have seen humble, not especially bright either, rise and be elected as the informal leader, just because that person communicates and connects to an inner level with their colleagues.


Some people realize about the importance of team spirit and charisma, others simply oblivious to the point stumble from problem to problem without knowing that the reason for their lack of success lies precisely in themselves.


So now, that we catch a glimpse of the importance of connecting, we should not miss it, and simply invest time and effort on those around you. Whether it is a business or a personal issue, invest, hear, feel, understand, evaluate, think, ask them and get to know them, cause knowledge of the person is the only way to connect.


Just keep in sight this wonderful quote by one of my favorite fashion designers:


♠“The most important things in life are the connections you make with others” – Tom Ford♠


Looking forward to reading your thoughts in the comment section below. Have a great day/week, Eli