The power of relationships
Relationships are the lifeblood of today’s enterprises
They determine who gets what information, what issues get raised, how quickly decisions get made, whether and how fast changes take place, which opportunities get identified or overlooked, who has the power to get things done—all of it shaping the fate of leaders and organizations.
Just think of how long it takes to make a decision once relationships get bogged down.
- Or think of how slowly critical information travels, if it travels at all, once trust is broken.
- Or think of the necessary changes or innovations that never get made because each time one person or group proposes a new idea, another person or group disposes of it.
It’s hard to succeed under these conditions, yet most organizations operate under these conditions every single day—hence, the popularity of Dilbert. In fact:
- Most leaders assume it’s just the cost of doing business—and they assume that those costs are relatively small. Not so. They’re huge.
- Few leaders believe you can do anything about it. Not so. We’ve just lacked the proper tools.
Those organizations that develop what I call relational competence will blow away their competition, because they will be able to make decisions, learn, innovate, and operate better and faster than others.
Relationships are poorly understood and managed
But here’s the rub.
After 100 years of social science research, most leaders can say a lot about how organizations work and individuals tick. But few can say anything equally intelligent about relationships.
Why? Because most of us spend so much time thinking and talking about individual people and their personalities that we fail to see that relationships play a powerful role in shaping those people and their personalities.
As The Elephant in the Room shows, recent research suggests that:
- Nature and nurture work together to shape who we are and the way we behave throughout our lives.
- Even adult brains and behaviors are proving more maleable in light of experience than we thought.
- Relationships are the key. They have the power to amplify or modify even genetically programmed traits and behavior.
As you’ll see in the book, it turns out that our genes are continually working together with our environments—and most importantly, with our relationships—to continually redefine who we are by structuring and restructuring our brains.
Taking a relational approach
That’s why The Elephant in the Room puts relationships front and center and gives you the tools you’ll need to:
- Figure out how to invest in which relationships—and when
- Assess the strength of relationships key to your success
- Strengthen or change key relationships
- Turn relationships into engines for learning, innovation, and growth
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