Ike Reighard, Senior Pastor of Piedmont Church, is the most relational leader I know. I once asked him how it was that he had so many life-long friendships. His answer was fascinating. ”Brian, I am just intentional about periodically checking in.” Ike prioritizes friendships.
I have often wondered once Ike has connected with them, what exactly do they talk about? What are the things that one great leader says to another to continually build the friendship?”
Recently, ProFootballTalk.com aired an interview between Thomas Dimitroff, general manager of the Atlanta Falcons, and Scott Pioli, former general manager of the Kansas City Chiefs (shown above). Their relationship goes back over 20 years as Dimitroff worked for Pioli while both were on staff with the Cleveland Browns and New England Patriots.
As they began to interact, I felt their conversation teaches 10 things leaders can do to build long-lasting friendships with other leaders.
- Leaders Who Build Long-Lasting Friendships Need A Safe Place To Vent With One Another - Dimitroff started on the grounds crew which resulted many frustrating days. Pioli was a kind ear to him during that time.
- Leaders Who Build Long-Lasting Friendships Often Share Small Beginnings – Have you ever noticed when leaders get together there are always portions of the conversation that start with “Do you remember when…”
- Leaders Who Build Long-Lasting Friendships Serve One Another - Early in their friendship, Pioli was very intentional about investing in Dimitroff’s development.
- Leaders Who Build Long-Lasting Friendships Share Common Passions And Develop Their Skills – This allows them to have a common journey and not get left behind.
- Leaders Who Build Long-Lasting Friendships Use A System – Many great leaders I know either intentionally or have their assistant keep key relationships built into their calendar.
- Leaders Who Build Long-Lasting Friendships Learn From Each Other - Dimitroff stated he learned about building teams from Pioli and Patriots head coach Bill Belichick. If you are not a continual learner, you probably have very few long-lasting relationships.
- Leaders Who Build Long-Lasting Friendships Laugh With One Another – They genuinely enjoy being around one another.
- Leaders Who Build Long-Lasting Friendships Are Honest With One Another – Leaders make each other better by offering targeted advice and feedback.
- Leaders Who Build Long-Lasting Friendships Encourage Other Leaders - Let’s go back to Ike Reighard. Every time he enters a room I’m in, it is like sunshine just walked in. He always brightens everything.
- Leaders Who Build Long-Lasting Friendships Respect Other Leaders – There has to be an attitude that says, “What do you want? What do you need? How can I serve you?”
Safety, Shared Experiences, Servant Attitude, Common Passions, Use A System, Continual Learning, Laughter, Honesty, Encouragement, and Respect. If you have these 10 things in your life, you most likely have many long-lasting friendships.
If you lack a number of long-term friends, what is one thing you can begin doing TODAY to build relationships?
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