What Is the Most Important Leadership Competency?

Think of a time when the relationship among stakeholders produced exceptional results or was the reason a difficult situation was addressed well. What about that relationship contributed to the positive outcome?  What if relationships of that caliber could be consistently developed among internal and external stakeholder groups throughout your organization?   

Envision the gains: 

  • Freer flow of information, ideas,  and smarter use of data  
  • Faster more reliable decision-making  
  • Operational excellence
  • Higher quality more innovative deliverables/products/services  
  • Engaged employees working in a collaborative environment  
  • Readily attracting and retaining desirable employees  
  • Happier customers/clients  

Looking at the upside of healthy stakeholder relationships and cringing at the exorbitant costs of miscommunication, silos, duplication of effort, rework, turn-over, and squandered resources , it's easy to see why the ability to consistently and predictably build strong business partnerships is the most important leadership competency.  

Still not sure? Review a sample-set of leadership models. Stakeholder or relationship management shows up in one form or another in all of them. It is an umbrella competency covering trust, influence, persuasion, empathy, social awareness, self-awareness, communication, team building, and listening, and questioning skills.   

The fact is organizational results are directly impacted by the quality of internal and external relationships. People who inspire trust and build collaborative partnerships with stakeholders generate smart decisions and get things done.  

If any or all of the following sound familiar... 

  • The company buys services from outside providers (think staffing/recruiting, IT, graphic design, training, etc.) due to a lack of faith in or understanding of internal capabilities
  • A high volume of initiatives are swirling the bowl or abandoned
  • It happens so often it's just expected that projects will likely finish late or over-budget
  • Missed opportunities because delivery, customer or account services teams seem unwilling to help upsell or cross-sell
  • Groups complaining their stakeholders "just don't understand us" 
  • Thought leaders or subject matter experts not being brought in to assist with strategic planning
  • Teams charged with delivering results but limited to a budget they were not asked to help set 

...it might be time to enhance the relationship management capabilities of your project, team, people, and business leaders. Start by subscribing to this blog or bookmarking this site. Then, contact us about an Opportunities for GROWTH Assessment.  Our passion and deepest honor is to help professionals and businesses like yours cultivate relationships that matter. We hope to hear from you soon!