Building Relationships vs. Building Leaders

Author: Dr. Doug McKinley| Published: July 17, 2014

My father was a builder. When he was 19-23 years old, he and his crew built over 100 homes in Marion, IN. He was always someone who got things done.

Architects, engineers, planners, and construction workers do the necessary work for a structure to be built. One without the other will not create anything long lasting. Builders can throw stuff up but without proper planning and design, it may or may not serve its intended purpose. This contrast reminds me of the difference between leaders who can build leaders versus leaders who build relationships. While leaders may get things done, relationships are the foundation for things to be accomplished. Building leaders is simply different than building relationships.

One major difference between the two is leaders are about doing and relationships are about being. We build leaders for a purpose; we build relationships to be with others.

We clearly need both but make no mistake: if you are a relational leader, you style will not automatically build leaders. Relational connections are the foundation for something to happen. If you want to build leaders you must lean into the relationship and expect things to happen. Building leaders requires you inspire people to take the bull by the horn and take care of business. What type of builder are you?