The leadership connection is a
give and take relationship. Think of each interaction between the Leadership
Team member and a stakeholder as a transaction. The connection is an
accumulation of transactions over time. During each transaction, the Team
member – T – and the stakeholder – S – benefit from the interpersonal
contact. This adds a little to the leadership bank account of each. They each
have a little credit with the other person. If T notices an opportunity to do something for S and does it, then T’s
account with S increases a little
giving T a positive balance with S. Keeping a positive balance is a
desirable situation for T; but it is
important not to get the accounts too far out of balance. Either too much
positive or too much negative balance causes people to become uncomfortable.
This can fairly quickly cause one or both of them to avoid transactions with
each other and may jeopardize the connection. Be aware of the relative balances
and keep them close.


This is especially important if
the stakeholder’s balance is the one significantly more positive than the Team
member’s. The stakeholder keeps giving more than he gets and his
positive balance keeps increasing. Since leadership connections are what are
called a 0 sum game, any shift toward a positive balance for one participant in
the connection results in a corresponding shift toward the negative for the
other. If S gets a point by doing
something for T, not only does S get a point, T also loses a point. For each positive addition to one person’s
balance, there is a corresponding negative subtraction from the other person’s
balance. If the stakeholder’s positive balance keeps increasing, the Team
member’s balance keeps getting more negative. It is common for people to say it
does not matter since no one is keeping score; but the fact is everyone keeps
score, every time. For a Leadership Team member to ever think this is not true
within any leadership connection is a critical error in judgment.