Rules Without Relationships Lead to Rebellion

Today, I had the privilege of sitting down and watching a talk that Peter recorded while he was at MIT last week. The speaker, Steven Sisler of Sisler Solutions and author of Your Big Desk, spoke on “Leadership and Self-Understanding.” Steve spoke a lot about DISC profiles and how to relate to others, all great material. But, out of all the things that he said, one statement seemed to stick out the most to me; “Rules without relationships lead to rebellion.”

The phrase was coined by Josh McDowell (a speaker well-known for his expertise in family relationships). McDowell first used it in reference to parents creating rules for their children. But, Steve did a great job of perfectly relating the statement to the workplace. Steve said, “When creating rules for your employees, your employees need to know that you care.” Basically, if you are trying to create rules and your employees don’t think that you care for them and their well-being, rebellion will most assuredly ensue. However, if your employees fully trust you and know that you are just trying to do what’s right by them, then they are far more likely to comply with your requests.

Perhaps the reason that this little bit jumped out to me was because of my recent obsession with learning about how relationships affect the workplace. But, perhaps part of the reason is that I also tend to notice patterns. And, one pattern that I haven’t missed is the fact that so many renowned speakers and authors encourage us to pay special attention to relationships. If building your business is your goal and business is all about relationships. Then your businesses success directly correlates to the relationships that you build with your clients, your employees and your partners.

What do you think? Have you experienced a time when you found that a relationship either greatly attributed to the success or failure of your business? (No need to name names, but I would love to hear what all you entrepreneurs have to say!)

1 reply
  1. Peter Chee
    Peter Chee says:

    As for rules without relationships, I agree. I would also say that I’m not a big fan of the word rules as for me it’s about culture, characteristics that the team values in a team member, and core values. Building a company where people value those things is what is important. Most entrepreneurs that I interact with have started their companies so that they are able to implement a culture that matches them and then they recruit and hire people that agree with it and want to be a part of that culture. If that person they hired no longer fits in the culture then it’s time to recognize you have to set that person’s future free. Same goes for client relationships.


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