How can Connection and Partnerships Increase Your Leadership Influence?

To effectively lead and be strategic from any role in your organization, you have to develop network relationships and partnerships. I was talking with a Vice President this week who is the leader of a global team in a large organization that has many teams involved with different functions of the business. In addition, her company requires that she partner with other large organizations to create strategic results for both companies.

As we were talking, she clearly understood the importance of strategic partnerships with leaders from other companies who use her services or vice versa. But she was struck that she had never considered strategic partnerships within the units of her business and began to consider what it might be like to sit down and develop joint goals whereby both units would be able to accomplish what they had not been able to do on their own. What if there were larger goals that they had never even thought of before that could increase the success of the whole business?

It was a great question, so today I thought I would focus on setting up those joint efforts within your organization to enlarge the scope of the business.

As a leader in your organization one important aspect of leadership behavior is the ability to influence others.

Do you sometimes hold back in your conversation because you are unsure of how to express your thoughts or ideas?

Do you sometimes not contribute to meeting discussions because you have heard what you have to say expressed by someone else; telling yourself and others that you have nothing to add?

If you answered yes to either or both than you are not using your influence as effectively as you can.

As you are prioritizing connection and partnership it is important to remember that others want to know what you think even if someone else has already expressed it. The willingness to share your thoughts and opinions is a cornerstone to partnership and collaboration.

A former client of mine, who is the leader of the IT function in his organization, was well thought of but a mystery to his co-workers. Not being aware of his mystery status, he felt isolated and as a result did not contribute to discussion in leadership meetings unless he had something new or earth shattering to say.

As he opened to contribution, just to let people know how he felt, his co-workers felt more comfortable with him, and began to seek him out since he was knowledgeable and could assist them in their endeavors. In addition, the whole corporate services leadership team came together and was able to assist each other with the strategic questions that each of them was having within their own unit. He became a much more engaged member of the team, and was able to further develop the team that he led, creating more influence in other areas of the business as he fostered more connections.

Influence is an essential function of connection and partnership. Next week might be a good time to consider setting up some connecting appointments with key members of your organization with an eye to how partnerships can help reach and expand company goals.

Do you have a question, challenge, or success you would like to share? Please be sure to leave a comment. I would enjoy hearing from you! – Patricia