Monthly Archives: October 2016

Grow Your Business Relationships: The 5 Ways to Become a Relational Leader

wallaceThe following is a guest post from Ed Wallace, covering principles from his new book, THE RELATIONSHIP ENGINE: Connecting the People who Power Your Business (AMACOM October 2016).

You know intuitively that relationships matter when it comes to business success. It’s harder to put that knowledge into action for a company, where quantifiable facts tend to reign supreme. Yet it’s the Relational Leader, a leader who prioritizes business relationships and their effects on the company, who leads modern companies to success. Read on to discover the five practices that make a Relational Leader.

  1. Always be ‘Intentional’ about Relationships

A Relational Leader is anyone who intentionally puts the other person’s goals and values at the forefront of each business relationship, creating an exceptional experience for others. This practice is known as Worthy Intent. Being intentional about business relationships is a career-long pursuit that allows the Relational Leader to launch, advance and elevate relationships across hierarchy and generations.

What can you do to become a Relational Leader? Make an intentional commitment to put the relationship at the forefront in all of your interactions.

  1. Become Great at ‘Observing Behaviors’

As ‘intentionality’ manifests, Relational Leaders become dialed into the behaviors of the important business relationships and ad hoc, drive-by relationships around them. This capability can be developed whether you are an introvert or an extrovert; a Boomer, Gen, or Millennial; a manager or a team member. It begins with paying attention by being completely in the moment with the person you are working with, then engaging them with well-thought-through questions, and finally with capturing the Relational GPS® – their Goals, Passions, and Struggles that emerge and utilize that GPS to continue to build the relationship.

  1. Respect ‘At-Will’ Relationships

Most business structures today are a complex combination of hierarchical and cross-functional approaches. Leaders no longer make requests solely of those in their chain of command; they consistently need experts from other areas, while knowing that their requests might not fit into those experts’ work descriptions. That makes the support these experts provide “at-will.” Relational Leaders respect the role and challenges of their At-Will colleagues and find ways to adapt their approach in ways that balance team and At-Will relationships, commitments and timelines.

  1. You are the ‘Value Proposition!’

A company’s value proposition is the benefit it offers to its clients or whichever other party it serves. Think of the best leaders you have observed and spent time with during your career. Now think about what made them memorable and a great leader in your eyes. You likely are recalling that their intentions were good, they stood for more than just the organization, and that they had a purpose that was bigger than themselves. In essence, they didn’t promote themselves, but the value they could bring to others. To become a Relational Leader, don’t promote yourself—promote what you can provide to achieve common goals with others.

  1. Inspire Purpose in Your People

Relational Leaders inspire a sense of purpose in those they work with. They see the larger good of the organization, the project, or the product and the importance and excitement of their own role in supporting these. People perform at their best with a clear sense of purpose when challenged with the following five questions:

  • Who do you want to be?
  • How do you want to be perceived?
  • What am I here for?
  • What is most important to me?
  • What will my contribution be?

When employees feel purposeful about their actions, they perform better and more efficiently. Relational Leaders are in a unique position to help the people around them identify their purposes and contribute more effectively based on that. With their purposes in mind, these employees can identify how they’re best suited to help those around them—and in effect, they become Relational Leaders in their own spheres!




Ed Wallace is President and Chief Relationship Officer of Relational Capital Group. He consults with and speaks for corporations and associations across the globe with a client list that is a who’s who of Fortune 500 companies. In addition, Ed is currently on the Executive Education faculty of Drexel’s LeBow College of Business and Villanova University’s Human Resources Master’s program.


Podcast: Leigh Stringer on The Healthy Workplace

Jacket cover of The Healthy Workplace Leigh Stringer recently sat down with the AMA Edgewise team to discuss her book, THE HEALTHY WORKPLACE: How to Improve the Well-Being of Your Employees–and Boost Your Company’s Bottom Line. Paying attention to (and spending money on) employee well-being yields bountiful dividends for any company, and Stringer explains how executives, human resources departments, managers, and even individuals can create a healthier workplace to benefit all.

Retention, recruiting, and even stock prices soar in companies that care about the health of their employees. Even when executives are looking to save every last penny of their budget, it pays to invest in the health and wellness of the people doing the day-to-day work. Leigh Stringer joins us to talk about her book, The Healthy Workplace (AMACOM July 2016), with some examples of companies who have done this successfully and some of their methods.

Listen to Leigh Stringer on the AMA Edgewise Podcast.

Leigh Stringer, author of The Healthy Workplace


Leigh Stringer is Senior Workplace Expert for EYP Architecture & Engineering and is researching employee health and productivity in conjunction with the Harvard School of Public Health, the Center for Active Design, and other leading organizations.



Listen to more interviews with AMACOM authors on the AMA Edgewise Podcast.


AMA Talks with Geoffrey Colon on DISRUPTIVE MARKETING

Geoffrey Colon, author of DISRUPTIVE MARKETING: What Growth Hackers, Data Punks, and Other Hybrid Thinkers Can Teach Us About Navigating the New Normal (AMACOM August 2016), recently visited the American Management Association offices to discuss disruptive marketing and how marketing professional can keep up with the breakneck pace of change in today’s landscape.

Geoffrey Colon is a Communications Designer and Social Data Expert at Microsoft, and was previously Vice President of Digital Strategy at Ogilvy & Mather.

Enjoy! For more AMA Talks with AMACOM authors, please click here.

AMA Talks with Paul J. Zak on TRUST FACTOR

Paul J. Zak, author of the forthcoming TRUST FACTOR: The Science of Creating High-Performance Companies (AMACOM January 2016), recently visited the American Management Association offices to discuss the science behind trust and how companies can put it into action.

Paul J. Zak, Ph.D. is the founding Director of the Center for Neuroeconomics Studies and Professor of Economics, Psychology, and Management at Claremont Graduate University. He was part of the team of scientists that first made the connection between oxytocin and trust—and his TED talk on the topic has received over a million views. He has appeared on CNN, Fox Business, Dr. Phil, Good Morning America, ABC World News Tonight, and is the author of The Moral Molecule.

Enjoy! For more AMA Talks with AMACOM authors, please click here.

Podcast: Nick Westergaard on Getting Scrappy

Jacket cover of Get Scrappy Nick Westergaard recently sat down with the AMA Edgewise team to discuss his book, GET SCRAPPY: Smarter Digital Marketing for Businesses Big and Small. As Westergaard explains, it’s the best of times and it’s the worst of times when it comes to marketing–there are countless ways to broadcast a brand’s message in the digital age, but trying to figure out the best way can make your head spin. He’s here to help.

Social media is taking over marketing and it can be hard to keep up but you don’t have to be Coca-Cola to make a splash in digital marketing. Nick Westergaard, author of the new AMACOM book Get Scrappy, is here to talk about how to figure out a strategy that will work for you and your company no matter what size. You’ll be able to work smart, not hard, and do more with fewer resources.

Listen to Nick Westergaard on the AMA Edgewise Podcast.

Nick Westergaard, author of Get Scrappy


Nick Westergaard is Chief Brand Strategist at Brand Driven Digital, host of the popular On Brand podcast, and producer and host of the Social Brand Forum, the Midwest’s premier digital marketing event. An in-demand speaker, he also teaches branding and marketing at the University of Iowa.


Listen to more interviews with AMACOM authors on the AMA Edgewise Podcast.