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Climbers or Connector?

March 8, 2016

Climbers or Connector?

I was having dinner with my brother and his kids last night. They are all in their twenties and had a lot to say about their jobs. They were sharing stories of the kind of leadership they have been experiencing in the early stages of their career.

Their stories were nothing new to me, tales of corporate climbers solely focused on reaching the summit, failing to see the destruction they leave behind.

These leaders have not yet realized that by maintaining an abundance mind-set and sharing with others, they will climb in reputation.

When you really listen to the needs of this generation, they are looking for wise leadership that is respectful, develops trust, identifies vision and acts with courage.

“People do not care how much you know until they know you care.”

From the “Leadership Handbook” by John C Maxwell

Which kind of leader are you?

Climbers think vertical – connectors think horizontal
Climbers are well aware of who is behind them on the organizational chart and how they compare. Connectors are focused on moving over to where the other people are.

Climbers focus on positions- connectors focus on relationship
Unlike climbers who desire to climb the ladder, relational people are focused on building bridges.

Climbers value competition – connectors value cooperation
Climbers often get caught up in trying to win at all costs. Connectors are more interested in winning together.

Climbers seek power – connectors seek partnership
Anything you can do on your own pales in significance to the things you can do with a team of people. The way to create high- powered teams is to form partnerships, which is what connectors do.

Climbers build their image – connectors build consensus
Since the perception of their performance dictates the next promotion, climbers are concerned with their image. Connectors are more concerned with getting everyone on the same page so they can work together and achieve great things.

Climbers want to stand apart- connectors want to stand together
Climbers tend to want to create separation so they can distinguish themselves from the others. Connectors find ways to get closer to people so they can stand together.

Maxwell describes the leadership transformation from climber to connector in this way:

“I want to win…
I want to win and you can too…
I want to win with you…
I want you to win and I’ll win too”

So when you catch yourself looking up, stop and look around. Because how I get there may not be as important as how we get there.