Jul 31, 2012
If you had to identify a single thing that the great leaders of commerce, war, sports, and politics all had in common, what would you say?
Would you reference charisma, or strategy? Perhaps their persistence, or dedication? And to all of the aforementioned traits I would respond with a confident maybe. Nonetheless, I would say that many of these great leaders had some of these characteristics. But the great one’s had something else. It is representative of the key component to great relationships which have forever served as the foundation of success across so many facets.
In a word, Trust, and nothing else, is far and away the most critical component of successful leadership. If you doubt this even for a moment, then think about the last time you accomplished something great where trust was lacking among the stakeholders? I tried to think of such an instance, and was left without a single example.
That is because at the very foundation of every relationship lies this deeply felt yet superficially undetectable element that guides it. The feeling of trust or lack thereof.
The great leaders have trust, but the question you must ask yourself is, do I? Here are 10 questions you can ask to determine how trusted you are. If you can honestly answer yes to all 10, then you are on your way to becoming one of the great ones.
- Would your employees agree with the statement…”You are transparent with your communication?”
- Do your customers consider the deal done when you shake hands or when the contract is signed?
- Are you able to influence and maintain strong morale during times of adversity?
- Can you be direct in your communication or do you often have to walk on eggshells not to offend?
- When you introduce change, does your team show (through their actions) a willingness to go along?
- Will your team members challenge your ideas freely?
- Do those you lead understand your plan and know your means of measurement?
- When goals and objectives aren’t met, do you point the first finger at yourself?
- Would your team agree with the following statement…”You have never lied to them?”
- Most Importantly: Would YOU trust YOU? (Be honest now)
Of course these questions alone aren’t the only indication of whether or not you can be, should be, or are trusted. However, a bit of introspection and consideration of those you lead are a tremendous way to measure the level of trust you have.
What I know for sure is that trust is the single most important piece in solving the leadership puzzle. If you have it, you can effortlessly impact change and influence people. Without it, you will find even the smallest shift can cause a back breaking ripple in your organization.
Leaving you to ask yourself this; Are you the trusted piece of the puzzle that makes it whole, or will you have to continue pushing the rope up the hill where trust lies?