Influence Verses Alienation

Leadership, at its core, is all about influence through relationships. I have often noted that the greatest leaders are not those who feel they have to do it all, but those who have the ability to create loyalty from a team who can do it all – a team made up of quality people with differing skill sets that when combined allow you to do what no one person alone can do - achieve your vision.

Weak leaders tend to alienate those who make them feel uncomfortable, no matter how important they may be to the overall success of the team. They surround themselves with “Clones”; people very much like themselves. This concept is known as “Haloing”. In other words, “the tendency to surround ourselves with others who have the skillsets we like in ourselves.” Unfortunately, this often leads to an unsuccessful and very one-sided team.

I don’t mean to imply that there is never a need for alienation, but by the time alienation is justified, so is termination. When you have done all you can to develop a relationship that is beneficial to you, the team, and the business yet continue to struggle for success, it is time to move on. Delaying the inevitable at that point destroys the productivity of the entire team and likely your credibility in their eyes.

When given the choice, always choose influence over alienation, but when necessary, be willing to make the tough call. That is what leaders do!

Monday, March 7, 2016