In an earlier post, Peripheral Vision, I talked about the importance of focusing on peer relationships, especially during the first several months in a leadership position. I argued that, while building first-rate relationships with your manager and your direct reports matters, your peer relationships become increasingly important as you rise in an organization.

This past weekend’s special Wall Street Journal publication, The Journal Report: Business Insight, bolsters that argument. James Kelly and Scott Nadler, principals at an environment, health, safety, and social responsibility firm, write about their observation of leaders over the past seven years. Here’s what they say about peripheral vision:

Throw away the traditional vertical organizational chart. Imagine the effective organizational chart as horizontal. Think about how to connect with peers, and how they in turn can connect you to other peers. View your colleagues as a focus group, not a barrier. In a horizontal world, your peers’ concerns are no longer objections to overcome. Instead, they are important feedback to hear and heed.

(Subscribers can get the whole article by clicking this link. Non-subscribers can sign up for two free weeks and see it too!)

Who’s in your horizontal organizational chart? Have you reached trusted advisor status with them? What’s a next step you can take to build that kind of relationship with them?