'Real' relationships take time


As sure as day turns to night, relationships, over time, go through hell.

Real relationships, however, the ones that last, the ones that have meaning, somehow, someway, get through it.

Common sense dictates, in developing “real” relationships, involving groups of people, you have to start small, building one quality relationship at a time. And though it is only one, it is one. And if nurtured properly, it becomes the perfect start in building team. A “real” team.

An unknown author once wrote, “A little spark of kindness can put a colossal burst of sunshine into someone’s day.” As kindness is a gift everyone can afford, and because it enriches meaningful relationships, a leader of vision, as though panning gold, searches opportunities to extend a little thoughtfulness to individuals from within his team, and builds from there.

The following is a story told to me by a family member:

The new supervisor walked the floor of the plant and introduced himself to one of his workers. In conversation, the employee mentioned how excited he was to watch his son play in his first varsity football game that night at the local high school. The new boss smiled and encouraged him to enjoy every minute of his son’s season. They shook hands and parted ways. Since the new supervisor had taken a few minutes out of his day to introduce himself and ask about family, the worker went about his day with a little extra burst of energy. Arriving at the game early, the proud father stopped at the concession stand, bought a box of popcorn, a candy bar, and something to drink. Moving to his seat on the 50-yard line, trying to balance all he had bought, he didn’t notice the man moving in behind him. When he turned to look, he was shocked to see his new boss sitting down right next to him. Smiling from ear-to-ear, his boss said, “I love high school football. I thought I’d come and share in your excitement.”

The new supervisor’s simple act of kindness, resulting in a little burst of sunshine, didn’t cost much and didn’t take much time or effort. And though he connected with only one of his workers that night, he connected with one. The perfect start in the development of team. A “real” team. One primed to someday go through hell and get through it.

Tony Legando is a lifelong educator, an OHSFCA Hall-of-Fame football coach and motivational speaker who has inspired leaders for many years. You can contact him at [email protected]

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