Value Relationships

May 11, 2023

Why do so many leaders act independently and prefer to work alone?

If you are like me, as you are reading you are typically holding a book in one hand and in the other you have a highlighter. Read before you think as the saying goes. In every book I expect to learn something that will challenge my thinking and add value to me or to others.

While researching a presentation I was to have for a group of young business professionals I came across a short article titled, “If I Were Twenty-One” by Frank Crane. In the prelude, Crane describes his intentions for writing as those of an old warrior returning from a voyage and imparting his wisdom to a younger warrior who was about to embark on his. He specifically states: “As people grow old, they accumulate two kinds of spiritual supplies: one, a pile of doubts, questionings, and mysteries; and the other, a much smaller pile of positive conclusions.” Suffice it to say, I highlighted that. But halfway through the article he shared what to me was his most memorable positive conclusion: Having a partner, “doubles every joy and halves every defeat.”

In a recent survey conducted with nearly 2,000 leaders from various professions, nearly 75% said that the key to overcoming the challenges of life was the strength of their relationships. It’s hard to argue with an overwhelming majority but, like Crane, a pile of questions arose. Mainly, why do so many leaders act independently and prefer to work alone?  The answer for some might be they simply view others as a less effective way to get things done. In other words, the tension to meet demands quickly is far greater than the desire to involve others. It’s also a gut check on the motivating agenda. Is a leader in it for his own glory? the team’s glory? or God’s glory?

Over the years we have helped young leaders shift to a more collaborative style that values relationships. It doesn’t happen overnight and like any change in behavior all healthy relationships demand an ongoing intentional effort. Unfortunately, some were less successful. Those that struggled found it difficult to develop relationships with others that were not like them. That’s certainly understandable and probably even expected in the current political and social climate we live in. But those differences can’t deter a team from achieving its goals. Others fell short because they didn’t invest the time or patience needed for the relationship to develop trust…but that is a much deeper subject.

Interestingly, some that we have coached were successful at building relationships with others, even with those they felt were difficult; but failed to sustain the relationship when work demands were less. I am sure many of you who are reading this have at least one relationship where the only time they reach out is when they want something. Thankfully I had a coach that showed me a better way and would tell me, “There’s no offseason when you value the relationship.”

At Victory Ahead, it’s understood in today’s climate it may be challenging to achieve both organizational/team goals AND value individual relationships. It is our belief that the best leaders demonstrate that they value others by living the truth, speaking the truth (in love), and expecting the truth from others. Truth is the antecedent to trust and without trust, what can you really accomplish organizationally or relationally? As one of our foundational VICTORY values, Value Relationships is a deeply held belief that helps dictate how we behave towards others. Having a team of others who are likeminded allows us to “double every joy and halve every defeat.”

Here are three questions that we ask those in our Young Professional Academy.

  • How are you helping others succeed?
  • What’s one thing you can say or do to demonstrate you value the relationship?
  • What’s one thing you can avoid doing or saying that would show you value the relationship?

Scripture Reading: John 13:34

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