Leadership is filled with ups and downs.

It is a challenging and rewarding experience that includes a myriad of successes and failures. Through the experiences of this role, leadership has the power to evoke raw emotion along the way. Such emotions are demonstrated when leaders relish in the brilliant ambition of followers who bond together, at all cost, to achieve a goal.

At the same time, leaders are often tormented by lackluster performance results yielded by less engaged employees. In either case, the one thing I know about leadership is that no matter what your experience, there are still many lessons to be learned.

Leadership Lessons Are Everywhere

I attended an Award Solutions Technology Workshop where we discussed the concept of Quality of Service (QoS). In wireless technology, this is a term used to define how well the network provider treats services according to its needs.


To ensure communication of customer information, network providers must determine the Quality of Service by prioritizing resources to control data traffic and make service work well for all users.

This is accomplished by building communication standards into network data points, indicating priority data levels to identify data transmission priority, and enforcing automated rules for transfer of data.

My Cool Video

Using this model, network providers have the ability to manage the quality of service that each customer receives while sending and receiving data.

An example of this level of management involves the difference between my cool video of karaoke night uploaded to social networks for friends and family to see, and the enterprise customer that needs to send large files to an overseas partner to view new architectural specifications.

The enterprise customer probably needs priority access to the network. Both items make it across the network. However, QoS will determine the hierarchy of transfer and ensures predictable performance. Pretty neat, right!

That Made Sense, but What is Your Point?


How does network QoS relate to leadership? Quality of Service is easy to manage during low data traffic times and easily managed to achieve the desired output for consumer and enterprise customers. In times of contention, the network has to work harder to manage all processes while achieving QoS.

So here is my takeaway from this class as it relates to leadership: Using the same strategy the network operators apply to manage QoS can be easily translated in QoR or Quality of Relationships.

We know, from experience and research, that successful leaders communicate effectively, indicate clear expectations of the organization, and enforce standards of accountability.

This is a tried and true model that assists leaders navigating organizational ups and downs. This model is easily applied during times of less organizational contention.

When everyone is happy, the leader is happy! Team members gladly engage in actions to move the business forward.

The culture is bright and cheerful when everyone is content and leaders are able to communicate objectives, indicate priorities, and implement processes that are effortlessly adopted.

Related:  When Leaders Don’t Get the Leadership Support They Need

Managing Quality of Relationships During Difficult Times (QoR)

Quality of Relationships is much more difficult to manage during times of contention. Examples of such times include workforce reductions, significant changes to leadership, and implementation of new policies.

The leader must work harder to cultivate an environment that is fertile with the fruits of productive communication.

Even more challenging is the ability for leaders to manage performance requirements, and change within an organization that is less willing to utilize resources that translate to achievement of goals.

It is during this time that leaders must evaluate QoR to determine how to work through organizational conflict, sustain productive rapport, and achieve more predictable organizational outcomes.

Here are three steps to manage QoR during difficult times:

1. Communicate

The best way to ensure team members feel included is to communicate. Like network providers, it is important for leaders to communicate by labeling priorities in a manner that team members can understand.

Proactive communication helps team members identify what is important. Communication also removes the guesswork about current and future organizational activities.

2. Indicate the Next Steps

Leaders must engage in organizational discussions involving what works, what needs to be addressed, and then indicate next steps to work through organizational objections. Leverage the power of your leader acumen by exploring methods for improving how the organization achieves priority in goals to accomplish.

Identify what works and what does not work to create a plan for aligning objectives by hierarchy.

3. Enforce

Accountability is key! The network example provided earlier has indicators set to ensure data transfer rules are followed. Organizational leaders have the same responsibility. Enjoy the fruits of your labor by reinforcing expected behaviors.

Final Thought

Quality of Relationship actions described in this article will benefit the leaders’ ability to interact with team members during tough times. Though filled with highs and lows, leaders must work through communication, prioritization and accountability challenges to remain successful.

While success is not defined by having a group of happy people 100% of the time, prescriptions highlighted in this article will make it a much easier task of applying lessons learned.

These lessons will help leaders demonstrate next level quality of relationship behaviors that treats each member of the organization according to his or her needs.

What Have You Learned About Leadership?

If you have ideas that you feel like sharing that might be helpful to readers, share them in the comments section below. Thanks!

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Florida Starks
Dr. Florida E. Starks is an Area Training Manager at Verizon. With more than 22 years in corporate higher education, her primary objective is managing new hire training, continuing education initiatives, employee on boarding, and enterprise change strategy.