People Won’t Go Along With You if They Can’t Get Along With You – October 2005
By Sean Wolfington
Have you ever known someone who appears to have what it takes to be a great leader and yet, rather than being drawn to that person you feel the need to distance yourself?
Have you ever known someone with tremendous vision, a solid strategy, solid skills, a great business plan and every indication that they were headed for success and yet you walked away from partnering with that person because you simply couldn’t get along? When we take a look at whom we choose to work with and why, people tend to underestimate the importance of getting along with others. Any one can lead with an iron fist and dictate to those around them, but the truly great leaders are those who recognize and practice the art of getting along. Here are tips for becoming a leader who finds it easy to attract others and gain their support:
1. Everyone counts.
Value people and live your life so that your colleagues know that everyone counts. It’s not just about making money; it’s about making a difference in your own life and in the lives of those around you.
2. Serve them.
You’re there to serve them; they’re not there to serve you. Ask yourself, “Am I doing everything I can to give them what they need?” and approach the leadership role as one of service. An added bonus is that it makes the business a lot more gratifying.
3. Expect the best.
It’s like Henry Ford once said, “Whether you think you can or you think you can’t; you’re right.” If you see another person’s potential, rather than his or her limitations, that’s what you’ll get. Expect them to deliver excellence and they’ll step up to the task; expect them to fail and you’ll never be surprised with how often they do.
4. Be “other focused.”
When it comes to success, focus on bringing it to others and you’ll be repaid a thousand fold.
5. Strive relentlessly for perfection.
Too many leaders experience a modicum of success and fall into the trap of languishing in fleeting success rather than reaching continuously for never-ending improvement. That’s a sure recipe for getting left in the dust which makes it tough to get along with anyone.
Isn’t it easier to get along with someone who has passion for what they do and what they believe in? Share that passion by fi nding a way to connect that passion to what’s important to others and you’ll find yourself getting along with them, and they will happily go along with you.
If what you think, feel, do and say is grounded in solid principles, you’ll be able to make solid decisions in times of conflict, and others will be drawn to a person of integrity.
8. Power of intention.
Call it karma, call it the law of cause and effect, call it a universal principle, but take a look around and notice that good intent results in a good outcome. Bad intent delivers bad results. To get along with others, check your intent.
9. It’s not a popularity contest.
To say that you need to get along with others in order for them to go along with you does not mean that leadership is a popularity contest. A leader is a trail blazer who often makes decisions with which others will disagree. Trying to please every one will paralyze your ability to take action.
10. Practice gratitude.
There are no inherently positive or negative events in life; it’s our response to each moment and each event that gives it meaning and determines quality. When faced with a challenge or a struggle, find something you can learn from the potential “setback” and train yourself to approach each day, each moment and each person with gratitude. Others are drawn to an appreciative, solution-oriented outlook and repelled by the opposite. Follow these tips and prepare to be amazed by the quality of people who are drawn to you and the integrity of your organization.
Sean Wolfington is the owner of BZResults.com. He can be contacted at 866.802.5753, or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.