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Why Do Great Leaders Put So Much Emphasis On Relationship Management?

The capacity to master human connections distinguishes great leaders.
In the digital economy, mastering human connections that develop trust and foster a collaborative work environment is critical to leadership performance. Based on the discussions with C-suite executives in firms throughout the globe, this skill set differentiates outstanding leaders from just mediocre ones.


Great leaders in a digital company environment are those that recognize and comprehend the value of technology and analytics. However, this is inadequate. They must also have the abilities and attitudes to bring individuals from various organizations and roles together to create exceptional client results.

Why Is It Important to Master Relationships?

Great leaders have always been outstanding at three things:
  1. Inspire teams to create innovative, cost-effective products and services that provide better results for consumers and shareholders.
  2. Create inclusive workplaces that encourage cooperation, as well as employee growth and development.
  3. To assist communities and society, do business responsibly.

Today's leaders must handle each of these leadership problems with a renewed emphasis on connection development in an increasingly digital environment.

Inspiring teams to come up with unique solutions. The concept of a team has greatly grown and changed in the digital era. Many businesses now operate in an ecosystem, which means they may serve as a fundamental platform in one setting while also serving as an ecosystem partner in another. 

As a result, businesses may be both "team members" and "competitors" with one another. To function properly, this dynamic needs, not just complex legal frameworks, but also a large dosage of trust and relationship-building capacity. Furthermore, as Beer notes, business executives and functional specialists must create connections across silos to detect new possibilities and react rapidly to them at the intracompany level. "If you can trust the teams that are creating them horizontally throughout the business, you can spend more attention on the top of the stack, the 20% that is genuine product- and customer-differentiating," Beer says.

Creating work environments that are inclusive, employee-centered, and collaborative. Only if leaders prioritize developing connections that allow people to raise their hands, set stretch objectives, improve consistently, and hold themselves responsible for their professional development can companies become talent magnets. This is essential for creating a flourishing community that values empowered workers. Collaboration is vital not just for achieving better outcomes, but also for creating a more lively working atmosphere. "Finding excellent IT talent might be difficult at times," Beer says, "but the more we focus on creating an inclusive culture where individuals from a wide range of experiences and viewpoints can come together to work together, the more people are enthused and want to work here."

Companies are working hard to develop mutually beneficial connections with their workers so that they would pick them as employers. Technologists and digitally aware professionals have a lot of alternatives these days and may choose the work settings that fit them.

Responsible business practices that help communities and society. Strong, game-changing companies aspire to be purpose-driven, performance-focused, and principles-led all at the same time. Companies that want to be great in the digital economy are no exception. It's normally simple for a company's leadership team to excel at one or even two of these aspirational qualities, but accomplishing all three at the same time is very difficult due to opposing conflicts such as those that develop between profitability and ideals, for example.

These conflicts are taking on new shapes as corporations digitize their business models and value chains (for example, privacy issues, unethical uses of data, and biased AI). Digitalization, on the other hand, does not just create new conflicts. It also addresses long-standing societal challenges such as health care, education, and social justice. Apple, for example, has invested tens of millions of dollars in ResearchKit, a digital mapping system that vastly increases medical researchers' diagnostic skills. 

Apple CEO Tim Cook easily admits that ResearchKit will almost certainly never make a profit for Apple, but he believes that employing Apple's technology in this manner is preferable to paying cheques to a charity organization. Consider Grab, an Indonesian ride-sharing startup that is now one of ASEAN's most successful and fastest-growing businesses. One of the main aspects of Grab's executive team's personnel strategy is to leverage its technology to hire women from distant regions in rural areas, therefore assisting them in escaping poverty. Beer's team at JPMorgan Chase conducts a program called Technological for Social Good, which hosts coding competitions for high school kids, college students, and seasoned professionals who collaborate with JPMorgan Chase employees to create technology solutions for organizations. Employees continue to go beyond the coding challenge to create comprehensive solutions that have aided over 1,000 charities and impacted millions of people in communities all around the world.

These leaders understand that establishing relationships and making the world a better place are inextricably linked. As a result, their organizations become talent magnets for employees looking for a feeling of purpose and meaning at work. As Beer so eloquently states, as our work environment gets more virtual and our business models grow more digital, the major driver of long-term success is less about the strength of a company's algorithms and more about the effectiveness of the connections we form.

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