Isn’t it amazing how one choice or person can change the course of your life?
For me, that change happened when I decided to work with The Ken Blanchard Companies about 12 years ago. Ken Blanchard is a world-renowned expert on leadership and at that time, I needed help on driving a purpose-driven, values-based culture.
What I wasn’t expecting was the impact it would have on the rest of my life.
Over the course of the three years that I worked with the company, I built a relationship with my culture coach Chris Edmonds, along with Ken Blanchard himself. It is through these relationships that my outlook on leadership progressed, and I understood the impact leaders have on the people around them and society as a whole.
These relationships helped shape much of the work I do today in helping leaders become the servant leader that God created them to be. Due to the significant impact I have seen from building relationships with key people, I want to share three steps on building intentional relationships.
Step 1: Seek Out Like-Minded Individuals
I am very thankful for great friends and leaders like Ken and Chris that have mentored me over the years. But it only happened because I reached out and asked for help.
Think about the person you would like to be and how you would like to grow. Once you’ve established your direction, seek out other like-minded individuals who share the same passion or who have already paved the way. Be bold and reach out to them.
It was through these relationships that I was able to connect Ken with Todd Gongwer the author of Lead For God’s Sake and because of this, Ken wrote a cover endorsement for his book. What a great opportunity to help other like-minded people connect, which can also positively impact their future.
Step 2. Walk Your Talk
I have learned countless principles and processes from Chris and Ken throughout the years. One of the greatest things I’ve observed in them is that they truly walk the talk of their teaching.
Being a nationally recognized expert on leadership, I cannot image how many people Ken meets in a given year. When I had the opportunity to speak at two of his National Client Conferences, I got to personally meet Ken. Whenever we were together he made me feel like I was the most important person to him at that time. As a speaker he invited me to join him in prayer for world issues in his hotel room, which has truly been a highlight of my career. This is when I really understood how Ken practices what he preaches.
Years later, I have stayed in touch with Chris who was one that encouraged me to write Leading Jesus’ Way. During the last two years of working on this book project, he has provided guidance and insights, which helped me bring the book to completion. From there, I was able to pass it on to Ken who was one of the first to review my book.
Why would such world-renowned experts on leadership give of their time to a first time author? Because they walk their talk and they are true servant leaders who have built relationships as they lead Jesus’ way.
Step 3. Pray for God to Bring the Right People to You
Ken Blanchard has written over 60 books on leadership and Chris Edmonds has written or contributed to 6 books on leadership. I am so grateful for the opportunity to build a relationship, which God orchestrated, with each of them. Now, even many years later, they both continue to impact my life in a positive way.
It may not be clear right now on who you are called to connect with, so pray for God to bring the right people to you as well. Seek His guidance in knowing who to reach out to and pray for clarity in recognizing those times when someone is reaching out to you.
Your life can change with a simple hello. Don’t be afraid to reach out, walk your talk and pray for direction. A relationship you build may lead to a significant positive impact on your life and the rest of the world.
Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up. Ecclesiastes 4:9-10
For more insight on Leading Jesus’ Way, or to get a copy for yourself, visit leadingjesusway.com