Have you ever had to lead a team or a special project and it felt like you were pulling teeth?  It just wasn’t coming together, people were resisting and unproductive.  You kept wondering: what’s going on here?

Some of the biggest complaints we hear from people when we go into companies to see what’s going on is, “They don’t ask me my opinion.”  “I don’t know what’s going on.” “Some of the things ‘they’ decide make no sense to me, but do you think ‘they ask me how I feel?”  If your team feels this way, no wonder your project is moving like a car with the brakes on.  They don’t feel included, honored or respected as part of the team.

Whether you are leading a project or just wanting to change some protocols or procedures, bringing people along can be a challenge. 

In Unshackled Leadership, Scott Hunter talks about partnership relationships, a new way of being related.  (Chapter 18)  Operating with others as partners in a nurturing and caring way leads to more satisfactory relationships, successful projects and a more successful, enduring business.  Failure to nurture relationships causes the breakup of countless companies every year.  Scott lists 10 elements that must be included in a true partnership relationship in business.  These are critical to bringing people along.  These are:

  1. A Shared Vision
  2. Inclusion
  3. Trust
  4. Listening to Each Other
  5. Respect for Each Other
  6. Open and Honest Communication
  7. Compassion for Each Other’s Feelings
  8. No Competition
  9. No Righteousness
  10. Embracing Differences

If you are struggling with bringing people along, at work or at home, I encourage you to get a copy of Unshackled Leadership and read his chapter.  See which of these elements you already do and which ones you need to work on.  Then get to work.

The example I shared above shows what happens when you do not have “Inclusion”.  Many leaders operate as if they are on an island, making plans and decisions that affect others without getting anyone’s input.  They think getting opinions or building consensus will take too much time. In the long run, it will save time as you won’t have to deal with people’s upsets for not being included or having your plans sabotaged by people feeling left out, unappreciated or just plan confused.

If you don’t already have a copy of Unshackled Leadership by Scott Hunter, go to to order one.  If you already have a copy, read this chapter and you’ll be bringing people along in no time!

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