In the last chapter, we saw a
successful leadership connection supports and furthers the mutual interests of
the agency and the person with whom the connection is made. For a successful
connection, the agency has to be very clear about what its interests are. Why?
is not for the sake of yesterday. We never use leadership connections to
complain or whine about things that have already happened. We may report past
events for the sake of the record or to make it clear we are disappointed or
unhappy; but if we do, we are cautious, understanding such actions and behavior
seldom accomplish anything useful. They definitely do not serve to positively
reinforce our leadership connections. Criticizing, blaming, accusing,
threatening, or any other version of finger pointing is counterproductive. It
is seldom if ever in the agency’s best interest. There is an old saying that
the squeaky wheel gets the grease. This is occasionally true; but equally true
is the fact if it keeps squeaking; sooner or later it simply gets removed from
the wagon.

Leadership connections serve
multiple agency interests, but those interests are in the future. The
connections are for the sake of future events, situations, and circumstances.
This includes providing and receiving information about areas of mutual
interest, along with staying current on happenings within the agency and within
the stakeholder’s area. It includes a continuing opportunity to influence each
other in ways working to the advantage of the agency and the stakeholder. Each
connection serves to improve the odds for future success of both participants.

Reciprocity is a key feature of
successful leadership connections. There is and should be a good measure of
give and take in every leadership connection. The point that may not be obvious
is a fair degree of equity in that give and take is essential. From the
agency’s point of view, however, the balance stays tipped away from the agency
in favor of the stakeholder. On average, the stakeholder gets a little more out
of the relationship than the agency. When the time comes when the agency
receives significantly more than it gives – and that time will come – the
agency will have a sufficient balance with the stakeholder to handle the
temporary inequity without jeopardizing the connection. The underlying concept
here may be thought of as Leadership Banking.