Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Top Ten Mistakes Women Leaders Make - #7 Not understanding the important of Relational Networking

#7 Relational Networking

            An important aspect in women’s leadership is the relationships and networking that happens. Women are relational people. They are people who genuinely care about others and want to know them.  They realize that God brings people into their lives for a reason and that there are no chance meetings.  They understand the value of knowing where someone is coming from and understanding what their motivation is. For a woman to be a successful leader, to really make a difference, she has to value relationships and networking.
            Some time ago, I read a story in the newspaper of a new CEO of a Fortune 500 company who happened to be a woman.  She spent the first six months of her tenure visiting all the offices around the world and getting to know the employees. She knew the value of relationships and relational networking. For the employees to trust her, they needed to know her.
            I learned about relational networking by doing all those odd jobs (most of them for free) around the church.  I did not set out to be so relational, but God certainly sent me in that direction. By the time I went on full time staff and finally got to go to the big staff meeting, just about everyone in the room felt like they had contributed to me getting there. I will always remember my first staff meeting in the Harbor at First Houston and them going around the room, each taking credit for their part in my upbringing.  Do you know the best part about it, they are all right.  They had helped me grow and develop and had endured the moments of an over-excited housewife who wanted to see others come to Christ. I believe it was that day that forever sealed it in my mind that relationships were everything and that I had better remember that.
            There is another important truth in relationships that we must mention.  Good relationships mean that I give credit where credit is due.  It means that I want the best for those I am working with.  It means that we are in it together and that I am to encourage, build-up, and be the example for those I work with.  If someone does not get along with me, then I must take the responsibility to take the high road and strive to get along with him or her.  If I offend someone, I must go to him or her for forgiveness.  If someone is offended by me, then I still must go to this person.  It means that there is no room for jealousy, envy, or one-up-manship.  It calls for me to be above board and to always look at the best in people.  It means being a team member and a team leader.  It demands that I do not go around people but I go through them.  It is the realization that I can be replaced.  It is staying on my face before God and knowing that He cares about relationships and working together.  And most of all, for me, it is praising Him on a daily basis that He is the very reason that I am going to make a difference at all.  Basically, it is not about us.  Far too many women decide that they are due the leadership position and that they are out to take it – regardless of the relationships that are at stake.

Today's blog taken from Women Leading Women, The Biblical Model for the Church, chapter 5 written by Jaye Martin.