Studies show that less than fifteen percent of our success in life is based on our technical skill and eighty-five percent is based on our ability to get along and work well with others. I believe that statistic holds true for companies too, and even more so in uncertain economic times.

If companies want to succeed they need to be innovative, collaborative, highly efficient and produce hard tangible results. There is no doubt you need great people to to do all of this, but just having great people on your team won’t get you the results you are looking for. You need great people who understand and promote the value of working together, and who can inspire and lead others to do the same.

Often leaders are promoted and valued for their talents and skills, when leadership is truly about the ability to get along and connect with others. The role of a leader is to influence and inspire the behavior of others to enlist their support in the achievement of a common goal.  This takes a high level of self awareness, emotional maturity, and a commitment to continue to grow and develop your people skills.

So are you choosing the right leaders? Are you supporting their efforts to grow and enhance their people skills? Do you value those qualities in your organization?

Here are some questions to ask yourself about your leaders:

1. What specific things do they do to help others be successful in the organization?

2. Do they promote teamwork and collaboration within and across departments?

3. What have they done in the last year to mentor, coach and develop others in the organization?

4. Who else in the organization would credit the support and help of this leader with their personal success?

5. Are they respected by their peers? Do they treat their peers with respect?

If you answered negatively to any of those questions, I would challenge you that you have a leadership issue on your hands and one you need to address sooner rather than later. While I encourage you to invest time in helping these individuals become successful, I caution you from trying to “save” them. People have to want to grow and change, it is not something you can force upon them. Spending your time and energy here, without seeing early signs of true change, can be very costly to the organization in the long run.

If you answered positively to those questions, then you have a leader on your hands. Invest your time here, and see what support they need from you to continue to grow and develop. Putting your time, effort and resources into this individual will prove so much more profitable for you personally and the company. You’ll grow more leaders, create even more collaboration and partnership, and produce even more powerful results.

We are living in uncertain economic times, and trust and value have become the new return on investment our employees and our customers are looking for, making what we offer a commodity and how we offer it our competitive edge. You need the best leaders on your team to both succeed and achieve the results you want. Choose wisely, and your job and your success will come fast and will be sustainable!


Meridith Elliott Powell, founder of MotionFirst, is a master certified strategist, coach, and business development expert. Passionate about the power of connection, Meridith has dedicated herself to helping others learn to be successful in all areas of business development, including networking, sales and service. Before founding MotionFirst, Meridth spent more than 20 years working for corporations as both a financial specialist and marketing professional.   Meridith uses everything she’s learned to develop unique programs, innovative coaching techniques and powerful strategies that help people ignite their internal business development flame. Meridith is an award winning business professional, speaker and author of the book 42 Rules To Turn Your Prospects Into Customers.For more information go to
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