Tag Archives: Relationships

Podcast: Ed Wallace on Becoming a Relational Leader

Jacket cover of The Relationship Engine You know that you need to maintain solid relationships with your boss and your direct reports–but do you ever think about intentionally cultivating your relationships with people in other departments, those in entirely separate divisions at your company, vendors who supply your business with what it needs, and all the rest of the people who fall outside a specified chain of command? Ed Wallace recently sat down with the AMA Edgewise team to discuss his book, THE RELATIONSHIP ENGINE: Connecting with the People Who Power Your Business, and how to be intentional about your business relationships for the better of your organization.


Networking is an essential business skill. After you get that business card though, what happens next. Ed Wallace, author of The Relationship Engine (AMACOM October 2016), is here to talk about how to plan to build up your relationship capital and take your networking to the next level.

Listen to Ed Wallace on the AMA Edgewise Podcast.

Ed Wallace, author of The Relationship Engine


Ed Wallace is president and chief relationship officer of The Relational Capital Group, a consultancy that serves many Fortune 500 clients. He is also on the Executive Education faculty at Drexel’s LeBow College of Business and Villanova University’s Human Resources Master’s Program.


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


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.

Random Quotes from New Books This October

The Relationship Engine: Connecting with the People who Power Your Business by Ed Wallace

Jacket cover of Relationship Engine

“Many client-facing professionals come to overly rely on their product-related hard skills when working with clients…We see this when client-facing professionals lead with every capability known to man during their initial discussion with their prospects without any sense as to what the prospect is trying to accomplish. In fact, these capabilities are now expected–no, required–for client-facing professionals going into most business relationships. Therefore, emphasizing hard skills provides minimal opportunity for these professional men and women to distinguish themselves in the business relationship. However, there is an old saying that does bring the value of hard skills into perspective: ‘People do not care how much you know until they know how much you care‘” (page 199-200).

What Customers Crave: How to Create Relevant and Memorable Experiences at Every Touchpoint by Nicholas J. Webb

Jacket cover of What Customers Crave

“The best way to fail in the hypercompetitive marketplace is to attempt to deliver a one-size-fits-all customer experience. We all serve a market segment, but within our market segment there are customer types who want to engage our products and services differently based on their hates and loves. Take Southwest Airlines, for example. In order to be profitaqble in the airline industry (one of the worst and most competitive markets on the planet), you need to be able to deliver services to a large customer market, i.e., people who are flying. However, within this large market are ‘micro markets’ representing a range of customer types” (pages 32-3).

Simply Brilliant: Powerful Techniques to Unlock Your Creativity and Spark New Ideas by Bernhard Schroeder

Jacket cover of Simply Brilliant

“When you first do an observation lab, you’ll think people look like they aren’t ‘doing’ anything! They’re just going about their business; nothing that they’re doing looks surprising. They’re walking around at the mall, moving in and out of retail stores, buying their lunch in the food court. They’re waiting for their cars to be serviced. Don’t become alarmed. Slow down and just start taking real or mental notes about what you see and hear, even if nothing seems out of the ordinary. For example, when my students did an observation lab at the campus bookstore, their first thought was, ‘What would we really learn?’ But they noticed simple things…like how people were queuing up in line across a main throughway to get to the main cash register, or how certain products were not offered for sale, or that there was a typo on a merchandising display. And so on. Ultimately they recorded sixty-five observation; then, based on a review, they offered ten recommendations that we forwarded to the bookstore manager” (page 178-9).


Want to sample other AMACOM books? Check out our Random Quotes from New Books series.





THE RELATIONSHIP ENGINE Now Available on NetGalley

Cover art for The Relationship EngineWhile most leaders will acknowledge strong human relationships as key to business success, only a few take a structural approach to relationship development—and they yield exceptional results. In THE RELATIONSHIP ENGINE: Connecting with the People Who Power Your Business (AMACOM October 2016), author Ed Wallace shows business leaders how to cultivate the most effective relationships with employees, associates, clients, vendors, and the myriad types of people who drive a company’s success. Journalists, booksellers, book reviewers, librarians, and media professionals interested leadership and management are invited to request The Relationship Engine for review.

Relationships hold companies together and fuel future growth. From connecting with customers to forging high-performing teams, success depends on everyone working well together. Yet many leaders prioritize potential relationships and take established ones for granted. They shouldn’t. Research reveals that these core relationships are often the weakest…and can prove more vital than missed networking opportunities.

Whether working with employees or associates, vendors or customers, The Relationship Engine gives you the tools you need to become an intentional, masterful relationship-builder.

The book helps you establish common ground, focus on collaboration instead of command, put people before process, demonstrate worthy intent, and make every interaction matter. This insightful and practical guide includes:

A powerful RQ Assessment designed to measure and evaluate business relationships • A Relational Agility Action Planner • Lateral and vertical relationship strategy templates • And more

Even the best-laid strategic plans are worthless without caring, real-life connections. It’s time to invest in the bonds that will drive sustainable success.

ED WALLACE is president and chief relationship officer of The Relational Capital Group, a consultancy that serves many Fortune 500 clients. He is also on the Executive Education faculty at Drexel’s LeBow College of Business and Villanova University’s Human Resources Master’s Program. He’s the author of Business Relationships That Last.

Logo for NetGalley
NetGalley is a service for people who read and recommend books, such as book reviewers, journalists, librarians, professors, booksellers, and bloggers.

There are a number of different reading options for this e-galley:

Find all of AMACOM’s e-galleys on NetGalley.

You can review how to get AMACOM’s digital galley request approval on NetGalley HERE.





Valentine’s Day Books

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone! Now that we are celebrating romantic love (thank you Geoffrey Chaucer!), some people may be realizing they need a little work in that area.

Are you and your partner having difficulty tuning into each other?

What Smart Couples Know: The Secret to a Happy Relationship by Dr. Pat Covalt reveals the key to really understanding your partner is emotional intelligence (or are you smart about your own and others’ emotions?). Dr Covalt holds a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology and has been a pyschotherapist in private practice since 1980. As a licensed marriage and family therapist, she has treated hundreds of couples in clinical and workshop settings.

What do most couples fight about?

No, it’s not the toilet seat — it’s money. Learn how to build the foundations of a healthy financial relationship in Financial Bliss: A Couple’s Guide to Merging Money Styles and Building a Rich Life Together by Bambi Holzer. Bambi is owner and president of Bambi Holzer Financial Group. A popular speaker, she was named Woman of Achievement in Finance by the Century City Chamber of Commerce. She is the author of Retire Rich and Set for Life.

Why does he love his iPhone so much?

Boys and Their Toys: Understanding Men by Understanding Their Relationship with Gadgets by Bill Adler reveals how men use toys to assert their independence and freedom, relieve stress, connect to their lost childhood, and even express their nurturing side (that’s why they cradle those iPhones). Bill Adler, Jr. is the president of Adler & Robin Books, Inc., a book packaging company. He has written more than a dozen books, including the runaway bestseller Outwitting Squirrels. He has been featured on NPR, The Rosie O’Donnell Show, The Maury Povich Show, Hard Copy, and many other nationally syndicated programs.

Best of love on this day!