Connections are the glue that holds organizations, teams, and communities together. We generally agree that this is true, but the greater question is really how do we become connected? This question is especially important for leaders to consider if they want to have sustainability. Let’s view this issue from a number of perspectives.
For example, leaders need to connect with their teams to create employee retention. The cost of turnover is great for an organization and is very stressful for the team. Ensuring that people feel connected to others on the team has a great impact on longevity. The Gallop Organization has studied why people leave organizations and one of the key factors they identified was whether the person had a best friend at work. Someone they could confide in and with who they shared commonality.
Another way in which connections are critical for a leader is to consider their clients. “Out of sight out of mind” is never a good sentiment when you are trying to retain clients. When was the last time you talked to them, even if you are not working on something for them? Taking an interest in your clients is critical in demonstrating that they are not a number.
Consider connections with key influencers within the community. Do you understand the needs of the community and how things may be changing? These changes may be early indicators of how you should position your organization to respond and seize opportunities. This investment in these relationships helps to inform and challenge your thinking as well.
Further way leaders need connections is about to their values. Those observing you as a leader will only believe that you value integrity or inclusion, etc. if you live out those values and your decisions reflect a strong connection to them.
Connections should not be taken for granted.
Leaders must be focused and intentional about strengthening all of their connections. Our influence, ability to advance our vision and our credibility are all tied to the strength of our connections. Begin now to forge really strong connections!