A number of recent events — both professional and personal — have forced me to think about the importance of relationships. We all occupy different leadership frames, but the lens I wear most frequently is the one of “relational leader.”

Relational leaders are those who lead — and regularly learn — through relationships that grow, sustain or fall apart. Those of us who tend to live in this leadership region regularly spend most of our time focused on how leadership moves will impact people — how they do their work and how they relate with others.

For me, relationships are the foundation of the work I do, and regardless of whether I lead well or poorly (and goodness knows I’ve done both), it boils down to how decisions impact the relationships that are the lifeblood of what makes me tick.

As I’ve been thinking about the value of relationships, I’ve started to wonder about a frame to help me focus constantly on the connections that exist between people. While I think I do this pretty well, since I try to live by the mantra of “it’s all about the relationships,” it would be helpful to have a quick “rule” or a “how-to” to keep my thinking focused.

So, I’ve devised a simple rule, a rule I call “The Rule of 3Ps.” It’s a pretty basic idea, and like most basic ideas, it has helped me tremendously over the last few months to keep the focus on people.


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