This from our good friends at the Daily Good, a wonderful daily pep-talk post sent out by what was Charity Focus, and is now ServiceSpace:
Talking It Out: The New Conversation-centered Leadership
by Alan S. Berson and Richard G. Stieglitz
Every year, hundreds of thousands of new graduates enter the business world, eager to climb the corporate ladder. Their progress on the early rungs of that journey will often be determined by qualities like hard work, determination, knowledge and technical proficiency. But business consultants Alan S. Berson and Richard G. Stieglitz argue that those same qualities prove less helpful at higher rungs on the ladder, and may even be one's downfall if they are not balanced by a very different set of leadership qualities. They sum up the thesis of their new book, Leadership Conversations: Challenging High-Potential Managers to Become Great Leaders, like this: "As you move into upper leadership levels, your technical skills -- what you know -- become less important. What counts is whom you know and, perhaps more important, who knows and trusts you."
The importance of building strong working relationships within an organization may seem self-evident. But Berson and Stieglitz go well beyond a call to establish and maintain open lines of communication. The kind of conversations they are advocating for are not simply talk for talk's sake. Rather, they are the heart and soul of any thriving organization's culture: a strategic tool incorporating very specific techniques toward very specific ends.