EarningTrust Through Character – The Foundation Of Leadership
Posted by John Wright on Tue, Sep 01, 2015 @ 09:02 AM
“Trust is the glue of life. It’s the most essential ingredient in effective communication. It’s the foundational principle that holds all relationships.”
– Stephen Covey
Transformational Leader-Managers are the kind of person people willingly follow. No one willingly follows someone they can’t trust. The foundation of leadership is character. Who we are– our character – either earns trust or loses it.
Character’s first cousin is integrity. The word integrity comes from the same word as integer, which in math means “whole number.” A person of integrity is a “whole person” – made up of heart and mind, body and soul. To build your character takes a carefully developed plan that improves through disciplined practice not just your body and mind, but your heart and soul.
Earning trust goes way beyond not lying or stealing. If your team sees do things away from work that they know you would not want your spouse or children to see, your trustworthiness slips away. If you talk to them about others on the team in a disparaging way, they will see that as a character flaw. Lose your temper, put your interest ahead of theirs, or make a promise you forget to keep, your trust account will be overdrawn.
This month, let’s hold ourselves to a higher standard. Let’s imagine that every comment and action will be shown on YouTube. (It just may be!) Let’s make sure that our words and deeds are beyond recrimination in our personal and professional lives. Then not only will we be “earning trust,” but we will be doing something else leaders do – setting an example.
“Good character is not formed in a week or a month. It is created little by little, day by day. Protracted and patient effort is needed to develop good character.”