Why Partnership is The New Leadership


Ty BennettBy Ty Bennett

Over a five-year period a survey was conducted of more than 5,000 leaders. These men and women were in leadership positions in multiple industries and at every level, from supervisors to CEOs, managers to C-suite executives.

In this survey, only one question was asked: As a leader, what do you want from your people? More than 75 percent answered with the one-word response: Commitment.

That’s what we want, isn’t it? We want our employees to be dedicated, to be all-in. We want them to be passionate and loyal. We want them to give their very best because they want to, not because they have to. We want them to be committed.

But here is the key: people are not committed to jobs. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that today’s average worker will hold 10 different jobs before age 40 and will have 15 to 20 jobs by the time they retire.

People are ultimately committed to people. It’s relationships that engender trust, respect, accountability and commitment. The old adage said, “Leadership is based on title, position or authority.” But people don’t follow titles – they follow people.

Have you ever heard the saying, “People join companies but leave bosses?” It’s the leadership they are committed to.

That’s why in today’s world, partnership is the new leadership. A new economy requires a new approach to leadership, and if what we want as leaders is the commitment of our people, then we need to partner with them in order to foster an environment that naturally creates commitment.

The idea of “partnership is the new leadership” is the rallying cry for effective management in today’s world. In the 1980s, Ken Blanchard changed the conversation from management to leadership and began to refocus, retool and renew the approach to leadership. Our world has continued to change since then and at an even faster pace. To be relevant, influential and successful today, partnership in leadership needs to be the approach.

Title does not give you the right to be heard, value does. In today’s world, people don’t want to be talked at, they want to be talked with. Partner leaders approach leadership by building relationships, adding value, involving their people and communicating in a conversational manner. That’s what makes them the type of leaders that make people better, the type of leaders that create buy-in, and the type of leaders that inspire a culture of commitment.

What every leader says they want from their people is commitment, but the truth is, the ultimate commitment is when our people step up as leaders themselves, when they take an ownership mentality, when they see the same vision we see and act accordingly. The ultimate goal of partner leadership is to create more leaders. That is not only what today’s world needs, but also what it demands.

Sidebar: Five Side Effects of Having Clear Vision in Business

Carey Conley headshotBy Carey Conley

Partnership in leadership is extremely effective; additionally, a clear vision is needed to lead yourself and others. I talk to many people every month through coaching and at networking events, and the first question I ask them is if they have a vision for their life and/or their business. Most people say yes, but the next question I ask makes all the difference: can they show me their vision in written, detailed form? As you can predict, most times the answer is no.

That next step is crucial and can help clear up a lot of things that people – especially entrepreneurs – are struggling with today.

  1. The vision has to come first in order to write intentional, quantitative, time-bound goals you will stick to and stay consistent. Most people are winging it when it comes to goal setting which is why most people quit before reaching them.
  1. You will be able to make better decisions with regards to how to spend your money and time, and who to spend it with.
  1. Your vision becomes your anchor during the storm. Ever wanted to quit the goal you set to achieve? When your vision is so important to you that it is like oxygen it will propel you to keep going even on the hardest days.
  1. You can’t influence others or make an impact in someone’s life (including your own) if you don’t have a vision you can articulate clearly. Vision is leadership; leading yourself and others.
  1. Lastly, without a vision it is very easy to not only get discouraged from time to time but could get to a point where you lose all hope.

Ty Bennett is the author of four books including “Partnership is The New Leadership.” He is a sought after keynote speaker and leadership trainer. Learn more at tybennett.com.

Carey Conley is the founder of Infinite Nation, a company that supports and guides entrepreneurs through vision mentoring and training. She believes every entrepreneur has a special mission to accomplish during their lifetime and being part of a supportive community is one of the keys to success. For more information and to attend the Vision is Victory conference on January 13, visit infinitenation.com.

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