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Relational Intelligence: How Leaders Can Expand Their Influence Through a New Way of Being Smart Hardcover – Sep 15 2009
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From the Inside Flap
Relational Intelligence (RI) reminds us that the way we choose to relate to one another determines the quality of our human experience and reveals what we value most. If we took a panoramic view of humanity, we'd discover that human relationships unfortunately are often reduced to a commodity, as if people were buying, selling, and trading relationships for personal benefit. This book challenges leaders to no longer see people as a means to an end but to approach people with relational intelligence.
In this book, thought leader, relational intelligence practitioner, and professor Steve Saccone defines the six roles of a relational genius and why they're essential for the relationally intelligent leader. These life-changing principles can be applied both to church leadership and any other leadership context.
While many leaders want to be relationally intelligent, they struggle to understand what it means and how to implement it. Saccone defines RI in a clear and provocative way: "Relational" in RI means learning to see people as the highest value and conveying that to them. The "Intelligent" part of RI means learning effective interpersonal skills and then applying them in ways that expand influence.
Many leaders long to be influential and missional but, mistakenly, this pursuit is often at the cost of valuing people. When leaders get the relational part right (loving well), and combine it with the intelligence part (applying effective interpersonal skills), their impact will be far-reaching, and even immeasurable.
As a result of becoming relationally intelligent, the world will become not only a smarter place, but a more human one. This is the world Jesus envisions, where love and mission intersecta world that can only become a reality if we begin to liveand lead withthis new way of being smart.
About Leadership Network
The mission of Leadership Network identifies and connects innovative church leaders, providing them with resources in the form of new ideas, people, and tools. Contact Leadership Network at www.leadnet.org.
From the Back Cover
With a Foreword by Erwin Raphael McManus
How Leaders Can Expand Their Influence Through a New Way of Being Smart
"If you've ever wondered why smart leaders do dumb things, this is the book for you. Steve unpacks the dynamics that make leaders most effectiveas well as most joyful. You probably don't need this information yourself, but read it anyway. You'll think of lots of people who do need it."
John Ortberg, best-selling author and senior pastor, Menlo Park Presbyterian Church
"Steve Saccone . . . is not merely a theorist, but a practitioner that I greatly admire as I have seen in action what he writes about. Relational Intelligence is thought provoking and most of all practical. Leadership of any form is about people and communication and Steve ingeniously addresses both."
Dan Kimball, author, They Like Jesus But Not The Church, and pastor, Vintage Faith Church
"Wow! You cannot read Relational Intelligence and not be challenged, empowered, and equipped. This book has it all, and every leader must read it!"
Princess Kasune Zulu, advocate and activist for HIV and AIDS;
World Vision spokeswoman; world-renowned speaker; and author, Warrior Princess
"If anyone is qualified to write on Relational Intelligence it's Steve Saccone. You'll have a new friend by the time you're done reading this book."
Mark Batterson, best-selling author and lead pastor, National Community Church
"Steve Saccone . . . .point[s] to issues in our inner and outer worlds that significantly shape our influence as leaders. For those of us who value leading through relationship, this book is a wise investment."
Nancy Ortberg, consultant and founding partner, Teamworx2, an affiliate for Table Group (A Patrick Lencioni Company)
"Curiosity got me started in this book; great insight kept me reading; transformation has me planning on reading it again! Steve Saccone takes the mystery out of 'how to' when it comes to influencing others . . . .Brilliant stuff!"
Ed Gungor, New York Times best-selling author, There's More to the Secret
Inside This Book(Learn More)
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
This is Steve's first book and it speaks into an often unexplored area of leadership. Steve begins with the reality that many leaders accomplish their goals at the cost of their relationships with those they lead. A leader can show productivity, passion, imagination, and resourcefulness, but he or she can be relationally dumb in interacting with others. I have so many experiences with leaders in the church that knew the Bible well and had seminary degrees but lacked basic people skills that made their work difficult.
Some of my favorite nuggets from the book:
-In the past, authority and credibility were built on status, power or position, but in today's world it's built on power and trust. To be relationally intelligent, we must shift from a positional authority mind-set to the crucial mind-set of relational authority.
-Leaders treat people as a commodity. (OUCH!)
-When we love people well, we become the proof of God.
-Many leaders deflect responsibility and accountability instead of
-We all have a little bit of Michael Scott in us.
-To be a person is to have a story to tell. (Isak Dinesen)
-If we want to be relational geniuses, we must learn to capitalize on moment's when we see people's values being lived out.
I could list so many great ideas here, but I think Steve makes his goal possible here by the content and context of this book. I think you and I can become more sensitive to our intuition and more aware of the people around us. I think we can develop new habits that are reflective of core values that remind us to value the people we are serving with, not just the task we are bound together in. In this process, "leaders realize that the more people they bring with them, the more powerful the effect they can have on changing the future and making the world a better place."
As the African proverb states, <strong>"If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, bring others with you."</strong>
Great book, Steve!
According to Steve, there are six defining roles of a relational genius. The Story Collector is someone who can draw out other people's stories. The Energy Carrier knows how to enliven the mood in a room. The Compelling Relator knows how to get people interested. The Conversational Futurist knows how to use a conversation to create change. The Likeable Hero establishes authentic connections that make people feel valued. The Disproportionate Investor invests time and resources into a few carefully chosen people.
It seems to me that the online self-assessment, while thought-provoking, suffers from a problem common to many self-assessment tests: the relationally unintelligent person is likely to rate himself too highly, and thereby achieve a higher score than he deserves, because he is unaware of his own deficiencies. Nonetheless, the book provides interesting insights and should be useful for most people who have leadership responsibilities in a church.
Relational Intelligence: How Leaders Can Expand Their Influence Through a New Way of Being Smart (J-B Leadership Network Series)
Boy was I wrong. The further I delved into RI the more I realized that my presumptions were entirely wrong. Saccone doesn't to fake a smile or feign interest. He wants us to find our true passions and invest in them. He \ wants us to realize the potential of investing in people and the many things that can be gained from servitude.
He doesn't tell us to look for the kid who doesn't follow his passion and hides in the corner. He tells us to seek out people who are doing what they love or are looking for new ways to change the world. Investing in people who are willing to invest in other people is the best way to see a return in our investment (it makes more sense when he says it).
Saccone realizes that while we should love everyone, there are ways to love people which are more effective and have a larger influence. He also emphasizes how important it is that we remove the log from our eyes before trying to get the sawdust out of our brother's.
All in all this was a very interesting read. I recommend it to anyone, even if you already consider yourself relationally intelligent.