What connects us

“In organizations, real power & energy is generated through relationships.  The patterns of relationships & the capacities to form them are more important than tasks, functions, roles, & positions”   – Margaret Wheatley

It is easy to lose sight of the important things in our day-to-day activities because we get so focused on the “work”.  If we didn’t, there wouldn’t be a multi-billion dollar industry designed to help us stay productive and ensure we are paying attention to those things that matter most.  The key with Margaret Wheatley’s comment is that applies to our life in total.  Talk about a return for your investment.

This is not something I have always believed but came to over the past several years.  Perhaps that is why I am so fervent about it and why I can tie it into almost anything that happens in my life.  Both our happiness and our success will be proportionate to our ability (& desire) to develop & nurture relationships.  There is a great deal of data available to support this and it even goes so far in business as to have software programs that enable social network mapping to find those people who are “hubs” and/or “influencers” within organizations because we realize that is where the power to make things happen resides.  From the point of humanity in general, we now understand that people who are connected and routinely interact with friends & family actually live longer.  This is not a surprise because we are a social animal and we need that interaction (obviously in varying degrees) but it certainly is true that “No man is an island”.  In fact, it is fitting to refer to John Donne’s entire quote so you can see that snippet in context.

“All mankind is of one author, and is one volume; when one man dies, one chapter is not torn out of the book, but translated into a better language; and every chapter must be so translated…As therefore the bell that rings to a sermon, calls not upon the preacher only, but upon the congregation to come: so this bell calls us all: but how much more me, who am brought so near the door by this sickness….No man is an island, entire of itself…any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind; and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.”

If you want to lead, engage others in a way that makes them understand we are all “involved in mankind” and must act accordingly.  This is leadership that changes lives and inspires others to do the same.

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