Posted by: jordanhayes96 | March 21, 2019

Building Alliances

On Tuesday, we talked about tempered radicalism and some points in this slide really stuck out to me. One of them was building relationships and forming alliances. One thing that I found out recently that I sometimes struggle with. However, my dad is completely the opposite and I really admire him for that. He is the type of person who you don’t know if they actually know who they are talking to or not, because he just acts like he is best friends with everyone. He will get to know someone so well in such a short amount of time, that he just keeps building those relationships and alliances. He works for Marriott and seems that whenever he needs something, someone is always there to help.

I think the reason he is so successful in this, is because he has such good conversation skills and always looks from the other person’s stand point. He never puts himself above anyone, and it is truly amazing to see.

I think this is why our most recent speaker was as successful as she was. She confronted her enemy and he became an alliance. It definitely takes a type of personality to do this, but having a strong group that is on your side can make all the difference when it comes to leading. Forming alliances, I think, has a lot to do with truly caring for the people in your group and is a two-way street. If you do things for them, then they will return the favor. What do you think? Do you think having alliances directly impacts how good of a leader you are?

I also thought about disruptive self-expression and how this ties into forming alliances and building relationships. I think disruptive self-expression is the perfect way to not have people feel overwhelmed and immediately say no. By just casually doing something, like me being vegan as I said in class but I don’t make others feel like they have to, more people have been asking me questions and eating less meat. This can work for building alliances. By being a good person and holding true to your values, people will want to form relationships with you.


  1. I love the examples you gave here and I definitely agree with you that alliance building is so important as a leader. I think it’s possible to be a good leader without having personal relationships with your followers, but I think at least caring for your followers is important. The need for personal relationships probably varies a lot as a result of the context, but I think even when you don’t need those relationships, having positive interactions with people in the way your dad does probably would go a long way.
    I also liked your point about disruptive self-expression as a part of alliance-building. I think we’ve talked about this in class because we’ve touched on the importance of being authentic and making sure people see that. I definitely think a big part of building alliances is making sure that the other person sees your true values and intentions so that they will truly be on board with you and have your back.

  2. I like how you used personal examples to understand the concept and see it play out in your life. Like Emily, I agree that it is important to have alliances as a leader but every leader does to have personal relationships with their followers to be considered a good leader. When Dr. Shollen asked us to think about someone who we should form alliances with, I immediately thought of my brother’s girlfriend. We got off on the wrong foot and ever since then, our relationship has been difficult. I think it would be important to build an alliance with her considering how much we both care about my brother and should make our interactions more positive. I wonder that if I start changing the way we interact and attempt to have meaningful conversations that she will in turn do the same with me. For me, personal relationships is very important and especially in this case, I don’t want my relationship with his girlfriend to always be this way. I also think that being yourself as a leader when forming alliances is important because you want other people to see your true values and authentic self.

  3. I definitely think it is very important to build strong relationships and alliances in order to be a more successful leader. To make a substantial change in an organization, leaders need people to be in their side and help them accomplish their goal. Having alliances also helps with moving up in the organization and achieving those higher leadership positions because the alliances can put in good words to the boss about how they think that person deserves the promotion. Building alliances can be challenging depending on the type of person you are and if you are able to make friends easily. Getting people on your side who you may not get along with is even more challenging, as in Marg’s case, and takes a lot of courage. You have to be able to be the bigger person and put your ego to the side, which many people are not able to do. However, I think that is very important in becoming a more successful leader.

  4. The idea of turning your adversaries into allies is a concept that I’ve struggle to see if I could apply it to my own life. When we discussed this concept in class with our partners, both my partner and I agreed that the idea of doing that seemed futile and challenging. I do believe that there are costs and benefits to this approach, you have the opportunity to create a strong and strategic alliance, but it could also backfire on you greatly. It’s hard to say if I would be able or inclined to do this once I’m actually in the workplace because the situation is very contextual. Would they be a strong ally? Can you get the job done without them? Do they bring specific strengths to the table that the rest of your group lacks? All of these questions are things that women and men need to take into consideration before putting themselves in such a vulnerable position. Strategic alliances are just that – strategic. No matter if you’re trying to build an alliance with a friend or an adversary, these questions need to be taken into consideration.

  5. I enjoyed your post and I have thought of similar ideas since our discussion. I think being able to build alliances is a great quality of a leader but I do not think it comes naturally to everyone. I think some people are natural at speaking to others and being “likable”. I for example, am extremely non confrontational so going up to someone that I know is not a fan of me is extremely intimidating but it is something I think that I should take the time to work on. Having people on your side and “connections” are extremely important and I think that in order to be a good leader, to a certain degree, alliance building is a necessary quality.

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