According to their wonderful book “The Leadership Challenge,” leadership research experts Jim Kouzes and Barry Posner state that “credibility (or Trust) is the foundation of leadership.”
The research simply confirms what we have all experienced in our lives.
Without trust, you can’t lead and you won’t follow!
We’ve all heard that old saying, “people don’t care what you know until they know how much you care.” And if you’re a good leader, you understand that without trust, you have nothing.
The depth of each relationship is directly equal to the amount of trust that is in that relationship. Trust is the basis of ALL relationships, and as a leader you must understand this in order to be effective.
I’ve made a few observations about trust in leadership that I’d like to share with you. I think you’ll find these to be true in your situation as well. How many times have you been a part of an organization and just wished that the leader(s) would trust one another so you could move forward?
Unfortunately, I’ve seen it all too often which is what led me to jot down the following:
Trust is a Two-Way Street:
In order to be trusted, you must trust those you lead. At it’s foundation, trust is simply believing in someone else’s abilities and empowering them to fly.
Too many times, leadership becomes more about control than about empowerment of those we are leading. That shift in your focus as a leader can become the first step to the destruction of trust, and the organization/church/ business.
Trust is a two way street and good leaders trust their followers’ abilities and empower them to lead instead of holding them back by micromanaging them.
Trust is Mission Focused, not Self-Seeking
We all want our organizations, churches and businesses to be successful. However, if you care more about who gets the credit for the success of the organization than you do about the mission of the organization, there is a trust problem.
When our focus is on who gets the credit, then we will inevitably become distrustful of others in the organization. We will constantly be paranoid that they will “outshine” us and steal our glory. The fact is that all the glory must go first of all to God who allows us to do anything that we do.
Then we must give proper credit to those who excel in their respective roles in accomplishing the overall mission. Good leaders defer credit and accept blame.
Trust is All About Teamwork
As the leader, we are responsible for creating the environment of trust in our organization. If we want to be trusted, then we must trust our team! Our team will do as we do, not as we say.
We can talk about teamwork and trust all we want, but if at the end of the day we do not trust our followers and believe in their abilities to make the team better then they will never trust us to lead them anywhere.
What are some things you’ve observed about trust in your organization? How much do you trust your team? How much do you think they trust you? Have you ever had an open discussion about trust in your organization?
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