|Success with One is Success with the Many|
|By Gene Atherton, NLECTC - Rocky Mountain - Institutions Program Manager|
I remember a promotional interview for Warden in our correctional system. I suggested that successful leaders influence successful relationships among staff in order to achieve success. When asked how that could be done, I answered, “one relationship at time”. Now at the time I was not sure of the meaning of the statement. It sounded right - I got the job.
Since then I have given considerable thought to the idea. My conclusion is this. If you get it right with one person at the work place, it means you both feel very comfortable with one another. You trust each other completely and begin immediately begin to experience an extremely productive and rewarding professional relationship. It is not as easy as it sounds. However, once you get it right, it is entirely possible you will have the same experience with many others. You have to commit. Once others have experienced the synergy as a result of the experience, everyone involved begins to want the same experience with others. It is contagious. It can reach a “tipping point ” that changes your correctional organization in numerous ways. Where distrust, divisiveness, and angry conflict existed, people begin to dialogue and work together in ways never thought possible to meet the challenges of corrections. For most organizations, this experience is a huge resource waiting to happen.
Getting there can be tough, but it can start with one individual that perseveres by displaying the philosophy and skills that keeps the door open to effective relationships. That person can be you. You in your relationship with others can make current, seemingly insurmountable challenges, be exciting opportunities for shaping the future of corrections.
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