Why great leaders focus on mastering relationships – Douglas A. Ready

MIT Sloan Senior Lecturer Doug Ready

MIT Sloan Senior Lecturer Douglas A. Ready

From MIT Sloan Management Review

Great leaders are distinguished by their ability to master personal relationships.

“Without mastering collaborative relationships, both inside and outside the company, we won’t produce the outcomes needed to win our customers’ business.”

— Lori Beer, chief information officer, JPMorgan Chase

Mastering personal relationships that build trust and create a collaborative work environment is central to leadership effectiveness in the digital economy. This skill set distinguishes great leaders from merely good ones, based on my interviews with C-suite executives in companies around the world.

In a digital business environment, great leaders are those who appreciate and understand the power of technology and analytics. But that alone is insufficient. They must also have the skills and mindsets to bring together people from diverse businesses and functions to deliver superior customer outcomes. As Lori Beer, CIO at JPMorgan Chase, says:

“We don’t need everybody to know how to write the perfect API, but we do need people with a passion for working together to create an understanding of how those APIs, a blockchain, the cloud, AI, and machine learning can change the way you think about delivering services to our customers.”

Why Mastering Relationships Matters

Great leaders have always done three things exceptionally well:

  1. Inspire teams that continuously produce innovative, cost-effective products and services that generate superior outcomes for customers and shareholders.
  2. Create inclusive working environments that foster collaboration and employee growth and continuous development.
  3. Conduct business responsibly to benefit communities and society.

Read the full post at MIT Sloan Management Review.

Douglas A. Ready is a Senior Lecturer in Organizational Effectiveness at the MIT Sloan School of Management.

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