Relationships in business are not about getting along.
Yet, so many books we all see in airport bookstores are about how to get along, build trust, be authentic, and build smooth relationships.
Our observation after interviewing over 15,000 successful and unsuccessful leaders is that relationships in business are not about getting along, but are about getting results.
And according to our database of leaders, 91% of leaders are “honest.” So, while being honest is of course a super important value, it does not appear to be a differentiator of great or bad leaders.
Relationships that are focused on results—that is a mark of a great leader.
In The Checklist Manifesto, one of our favorite social do-gooders, Atul Gawande, points out that in an operating room, it’s not about getting along. Life or death happens as a result of simple steps being followed, like 1) doctors and nurses and specialists introducing themselves and their roles, 2) focusing on the result that is desired (are we amputating the left hand or the right hand?), and 3) constantly monitoring the vital signs of the patient.
Success in business seems to follow a similar pattern. Verne Harnish calls it a huddle—where team members, often standing not sitting, look at the goals, results, and actions for the upcoming week. Software developers talk about agile development and SCRUM. The Toyota Production System, lean manufacturing, Six Sigma, the Danaher Management System. All of these management best practices suggest that the goal of relationships is not just getting along, but in getting results.
In Power Score, we offer a one-page rating exercise you can use with your team, to measure the degree to which you have the right relationships for success.
Download the SMARTtools for Leaders™ RELATIONSHIPS Tool.