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Five Ways Relationship Building Can Create Success

Editor’s Note: This week’s blog will be written by Lee Williams, a member of my writing team, on the importance of relationship-building within an organization. I hope you enjoy his insights!

– Don Yaeger

I asked Don for permission to write for his blog for this week because I wanted to share some thoughts about our team environment.

This week, our company celebrated its annual Christmas party—a remarkable mixing of our personal and professional lives. In some companies, it is a dreaded annual obligation but while at our company’s event, I was able to observe the outstanding camaraderie between our team and family members. From a home-cooked meal (Don’s wife Jeanette is an incredible cook!) to a White Elephant gift exchange that left us all laughing, the focus was very clearly on relationship-building and by the end of the night, I realized that this is a key component to success in any organization.

[tweetthis url=””]Great work cultures find abundance in relationships.[/tweetthis]

E-Colors Team Building

A company’s work culture has a powerful impact on employee performance. Behind every winning organization is a unique identity that sets it apart from others. These components give employees a strong sense of belonging, ownership, value, and meaning for their work—and it also inspires them to create passionately for the company. Similarly, any successful relationship must have these same factors to ensure success. There are elements within our personal relationships that can be applied directly to improving a team of professionals. In response to this thought, I crafted five factors that I hope will benefit the relationship-building within your own organization:

  1. Honesty. In Great companies, as in strong personal relationships, there is a high level of integrity within every single interaction, from employee to the CEO. All stakeholders hold themselves to the same standard of openness—whether giving advice, receiving constructive criticism, or discussing client interactions. This allows for an environment of trust, openness, and authentic gratitude to be the norm.
  2. Performance-based metrics. Employees are not all wired the same and we measure success in different ways. A company that understands the motivations that drive each individual employee knows the value of active team-building. By being in sync with what drives your team and determining how each person defines success, a company can become innovative in a very personal way.
  3. Accountability. A strong company creates an accountability system for every role and responsibility among a team. This requires a higher element of transparency, but can yield stunning results. Work becomes more personal as ownership of goals becomes shared. Also, this could open up a new system of celebration for employee accomplishments. Great accountability will ensure that the staff all have a personal stake within every project and sense of appreciation for each person’s contributions.
  4. Cooperation. The best ideas come from dynamic group effort. A Great company understands this very well, and it is imperative that sharing and collaboration be welcome among the team. Individuals who feel that their opinions and ideas are respected will volunteer their thoughts frequently, and the entire team will benefit from a variety of perspectives and creative angles.
  5. Ambition. Last but not least, fostering strong ambition within the company culture is an often-overlooked key to a driven, successful team. Establishing a standard of excellence creates something that your team can trust and believe in. By implementing growth goals, everything is considered within the lens of expanding potential, from daily objectives and measurements of success to celebrating accomplishments and getting to know employees personally. Great leaders all know that they can accomplish more with driven people.

Cruise Team Building

[tweetthis url=””]Great teams establish a standard of excellence within their culture.[/tweetthis]

These five factors, together, are effective investments into the future success of a team. As our professional team and family members celebrated the spirit of Christmas together this week, I saw relationship-building at its best and it was truly inspiring. Did we “talk shop” sometimes? Sure, but it was always in a context of how we could leverage our energy and ideas together toward new goals. This little slice of out-of-the-office interaction demonstrated to me the trust, motivation, accountability, cooperation, and ambition that unite our team through our relationships. It is truly a culture of Greatness.

Take a moment to leave me a comment on how you might be able to implement these components in your own company. How can you challenge your team to a Greater level of relationship-building? I’d love to hear your thoughts and opinions!

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Comments (1)

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    Ed Garrison


    Sounds very similar to what Patrick Lencioni writes about in his 5 Dysfunctions of A Team book that we use in our leadership programs,

    Forget about how smart people are. They can always get smart or more technically competent. If they are not personally interested in and want to be in relationship with others on the team, work becomes just that …..WORK

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Don Yaeger

Don Yaeger is a Certified Speaking Professional (CSP), longtime Associate Editor for Sports Illustrated, 11-time New York Times best-selling author, leadership expert and executive coach.

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