Relational Intelligence at Work
on November 21, 2023
Hey, it’s Jeremie Kubicek here.
We’re excited to have you for this week’s edition of the Relational Intelligence at Work newsletter, where every Tuesday you’ll get an email straight to your inbox from myself or our co-founder, Steve Cockram.
This newsletter's primary goal is to support you on your personal growth journey, and to equip you with the skills and knowledge you need to excel as a leader.
With that being said, let’s dive in…
The year was 1993.
I was 21 years old, and just graduated college from a small private university in the middle of Oklahoma.
After graduation, some colleagues of mine and our former professor decided to launch a business in Russia after the walls came down.
During our time there, I was sitting on the window sill of my apartment in downtown Moscow with my journal and my guitar… staring at the enormity of the Stalin Tower, reflecting on what it would have been like living here the previous 70 years.
Before we get to that, let’s back up a bit…
As a kid, I grew up always working for my family, our family farms, flower shops, rent houses, mowing lawns, and I even worked as a putt-putt manager.
I worked a lot growing up and had a great childhood as an only child, but the main thing I wanted to do… was travel.
I was obsessed with all things traveling and seeing the world.
And when I was 17, my grandmother took me to Europe… and I had one of the most amazing experiences of my life.
I was immediately bitten by the travel bug.
So when the opportunity came up to go to Russia a few years later, I was all for it.
Leading up to this trip, I had been doing quite a bit of research into the world of business and how it can be a tool to do good in the world.
And during that process, I developed a philosophy that I still carry with me today…
"Let the world fund you to influence it."
Arriving in Russia, that’s exactly what our plan was.
We started an economics school, started doing marketing consulting, and did some accounting work over there as well.
And because of the timeliness of the walls coming down and entrepreneurship opportunities everywhere, we decided to start in Moscow, Russia.
I went from small town Oklahoma to the middle of downtown Moscow.
We were living in a 3-story flat, and outside our apartment window you could look up and see the immense Stalin Tower, a picture is provided below:
It was the tallest building in Moscow.
Stalin wanted the world to know HE was in charge.
And every night, I would sit with the window cracked with my guitar and journal, reflecting on the type of experience the Russian people might have had under Stalin’s leadership, and what over 70 years of communism has done to this country.
One morning, while coming out of our flat, I saw a guy walking down the street with a speaker in his arm carrying it over his shoulder like a boom box.
He went over to the trash and dumped it in.
“Strange” I thought.
I continued walking and all of the sudden I see a line forming of people doing the same thing.
Carrying perfectly good speakers over to the trash and throwing them away.
I walk up to the guy and ask, "what’s going on here?"
"They’re listening devices that are in our apartments." he responds back.
For years, these people had been living under the control of the government.
"Big brother" had been listening in for years and placing these listening devices in their homes.
It wasn’t until then did I realize the full extent of the dominance and control Stalin’s leadership had over the people.
Whether it’s a dictator or a lower-level manager, leaders define culture.
And Stalin defined the culture there for years.
It was a culture of submission, power, dominance, and control.
To better understand this leadership dynamic, I started doing some of my own studying on the concepts of influence.
Leaders use influence to either empower or overpower.
Stalin used it to overpower.
And the type of culture the leader creates all comes down to the intent of the leader.
If you’re a great leader, you’re someone who understands your power and empowers others… you’re what I would call a liberating leader.
To get a better grasp on the types of cultures, take a look at the Support Challenge Matrix.
Are you building a culture of fear and manipulation?
Or are you building a culture of empowerment and opportunity?
When you build a liberating culture, you’re self-fulfilled because you’re focused on serving others.
You choose to build relationships with your colleagues before chasing business opportunities.
You understand you’re not as effective as a company without your people, without your team.
A leader doesn’t always come with a fancy title.
Everyone is and can be a leader.
And everyone is responsible for their own influence.
Are you choosing to empower or overpower?
Understand your intent behind your leadership style. How are people perceiving it?
The goal is to have people WANT to work with you, not HAVE to work with you.
So, as you continue on throughout your week, ask yourself, “What kind of culture am I creating? And what kind of culture do I want to create?”
And go out there and let the world fund you to influence it.
That’s all for today’s message. Thanks for reading!
Until next time,
Co-Founder, GiANT Worldwide
If you’re ready to take your leadership journey to the next level, I’d highly recommend you grab of copy of our newly released book, The Communication Code.
Grab it below:
Get the Communication Code Book
A step-by-step roadmap to improve your relationships and communication with those around you.
Relational Intelligence is the science of highly-functional relationships (HFRs). Learn how to navigate and manage your interactions with others effectively.