What’s the Face Value of The Elegant Leader?

Success as an Elegant Leadership with Voltage is the rhythm among ego, results and relationships. Leading Elegantly stretches from the Board Room, through the hallways and into the personal realm. Understanding why your currency is important as an Elegant Leader will help you strengthen the subjective nature of your relationships and the objective nature of your results.  There are two types of currency in any leadership environment – relationship currency and performance currency. Leadership Currency is the objective and subjective viewpoint others have of you based upon your behaviors, habits, perceptions and outcomes.

“What you don’t see can hurt you.” – Ray Charles

A leader’s currency ebbs and flows in the professional realm as much as it does in the personal realm. For many of us, we think of ourselves as successful parents, also. To be a successful parent, one who praises and disciplines their children consistently, understands their child’s currency. From their iPhone, the car, hanging out with friends, to gaming online and going the latest party, your children understand the value of currency probably more than you do. The peer pressures they face today is not too dissimilar from the peer pressures we all face at work on a daily basis. They days of grinding away in your office or cubicle will lead you nowhere. You have to establish, build, nurture and repair relationships daily. 

If you don’t understand people, you don’t understand business. Relationships are vital if you are to lead or to Lead Elegantly. The reality is, regardless how great a relationship builder you are, relationships alone will not elevate your career to the vertical heights you dream of or aspire to. There are many ways relationships work for us rather than against us. Don’t be afraid to discover and embrace your currency. The minimum standard in building your community or your relationship currency is for every function your role touches their needs to be a high-value relationship.

Relationship currency involves modeling effective leadership attitudes, behaviors and habits. Because of the subjective nature of these behaviors and habits, perceptions are formed.  This subjective judgment about whether you blend well with others, whether people follow you, or whether you’ll be successful or not is largely based upon your relationship currency. The influences and influencers can have favorable or unfavorable feedfback based upon the strength of each relationship.

Here are a few simple steps in optimizing your relationship currency. Think of 3-5 high value people in your organization your desk touches and grade yourself:

Assess Your Relationship Currency. Ask yourself these questions and grade yourself if you strongly agree, you’re neutral or strongly disagree:   I am in contact with this person regularly? I ask how I can help them achieve their commitments? I go out of my way to acknowledge their contributions? This individual will go out of their way to support me, even if it’s at personal risk?

Understand Each Person. What are their business goals and aspirations?  How would you describe their communication style?  What critieria do they focus on when making decisions?  Who influences this person? What is their currency?

Improve the Relationship. What would you like the relationship to look like in 3-6 months? What can you do to adapt to their leadership style and comunication style? How can you improve how you acknowledge their contributions? What else can you do to better this relationship?

Develop an Action Plan to Strengthen the Relationship. What do you want to achieve by month 6 in this relationship? How will you measure this achievement?  What 3 things will you do immediately to improve the relationship? What behaviors will you start, stop, do more or do less of to strengthen this relationship? What else will you do?

It’s a huge mistake to ignore, hold back or wait until you’re in desperate need to build your relationship currency. These veiled attempts are viewed as manipulative and do more harm than good. Very similar to avoiding building your community while work is going well. When you become unemployed, you’re trying to get help from those very ones you ignored or just forgot. How can you expect someone to help you “when, not if” things go sour if you’ve done nothing to nurture or even maintain the relationship? The other equally important dimension is generated by delivering what was asked of you in performance currency.

Performance currency is the outcome, the deliverables you’ve been charged with. These outcomes create a reputation in the market for your skill, the opportunity for increased monetary and career rewards, and attract potential mentor or sponsor relationships across your organization. Here’s the kicker, much as relationship currency tends to be driven subjectively by perceptions, habits and behaviors, performance currency can set the bar of diminishing returns. You set a standard by which you’re going to be measured forevermore. In some environments, unfortunately, this perception equates to the moving goalpost, because you’ve delivered great performance after great performance. It becomes assumed you will replicate your Midas touch.

They way you exercise this demon is to expand your community of relationships and learn how to do more by doing less. Yes, it sounds contradictory. However, the larger your circle of influence, the great the opportunity you have to build more relationships in terms of quality and quantity. You’ll need the quantity in order to handle larger initiatives, whether you’re working on mergers and acquisitions, expanding the distribution footprint or leading the strategic planning team.

Performance alone will not enable you to grow vertically in your career. As you see, performance and relationship currecny go hand-in-hand. It’s a rhythm. By keeping your ego in check, the rhythm of the Elegant Leader drives great performance and high-value relationships that move organizations forward. Do you want to know how to establish, build and nurture your community? Not sure. How would you like to see what it’s worth to you from an ROI standpoint? Click here to download a FREE copy of Your Community ROI Calculator.

Today there is only one currency that matters, and it sets the successful apart from the mediocre. It doesn’t matter if you are a social media genius or not, or whether you are an introvert or extrovert.

The currency that matters….

The currency is the difference between getting career opportunities before they are posted publicly, or having to compete against hundreds of people for the same opportunity.

If you are a manager or executive in a company, the currency is the difference between getting the best assignments or the second best, the difference between being on the best teams and the less visible teams, and ultimately the difference between getting the promotion or losing out.

The currency is your Community of professional relationships. This determines your informal power and influence – inside a company, in your industry, and in the world.

Some have it and some don’t.

Are you getting a constant stream of opportunities coming your way?

If you have it, you know it. You get a constant stream of opportunities. People contact you every day with new job offers, the best new assignments, and introductions to the people you need to know and who need to know you.

I’m J. Scott Spector, and I am the Founder and Managing Partner of Brookestone Associates, a firm that specializes in building up your power and influence.

Most people don’t even think about this, and yet it makes all the difference to your success.

Most people don’t even think about the type of work that I do, and yet it makes all the difference. While most people are thinking about doing a good job at work and getting high marks on their next performance review, I help you with the unseen part of performance. I make sure that you are visible.

Working together, you will have the right people in your network to assure your success so:

  • The powerful people in your organization contact you with the best assignments.
  • The right opportunities come to you first, before they are posted publicly.
  • You get priority consideration for promotions.

If you are doing everything you need to do to perform on your job, I can work with you to make sure that your bank account is brimming over with the currency that matters: key relationships, and a powerful community that puts you at the top of your field.

How powerful is your Community? Take the FREE assessment to see if we should work together.

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