Project Management

The 5 Vital Relationships Every Leader Needs

Anthony is an enterprise agile Coach with Vitality Chicago, Inc. He has over 30 years of experience delivering large-scale business programs and IT projects. He specializes in helping organizations effectively apply Lean and agile principles and the Scrum framework to gain true business agility. He teaches a wide range of agile and Scrum training courses as well as the cultural elements that are necessary for agile to succeed. Anthony is the author of numerous blog posts and articles and two books: Agile Project Management and Emotional Intelligence for Project Managers. He has an undergraduate degree from Michigan State University and an MBA from Loyola University of Maryland.

If you find yourself working harder than ever but not getting the results you want, perhaps more hard work is not the answer. Leaders today need to do more than simply work hard; they need leverage. That leverage comes from building relationships.

And by the way, all of us are expected to be leaders today. Whether we are project managers working in a traditional environment or a ScrumMaster, PM or leader for an agile team, we are considered leaders. Even team members in an agile environment are expected to be “emergent leaders.” Everybody leads.

Leaders are expected to be "on," to bring energy and positivity to situations and teams. To do that, leaders can work harder and give more time and life energy. Or they can work smarter, and they do that by investing in key relationships.

I contend that leaders need to build strong relationships in five key domains. These five relationship domains are not just important to working smarter, they are vital to your success and that of your project, product or initiative. Let's walk through each of these relationships and explore how they relate to leadership effectiveness…

1. Relationship with self
The single most important relationship for any leader is the relationship with themselves. Leaders need to be aware of their inner emotions and monitor their reactivity toward others.

Early in my …

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