When it comes to leadership, it is hard to think of something more important than trust. One could be talented, with an impressive CV. One could say the quote unquote “right things” but if one doesn’t have his colleagues trust, they have nothing.
Trust is difficult because it isn’t something one can do. It isn’t a bullet point on a resume. It’s pathos—an emotional connection with your peers. And it has two roots. It requires a strong belief on the part of you peers that you have their best interests in mind. Second, it requires a strong belief that you have the ability and knowledge to act on that vested interest.
So how does one plant the seed that will grow roots and flower with trust? Asking people for their advice and listening to them. People need to be heard. One needs to take an interest in what is important to their peers. This makes people feel they have validation. One must always be genuine. There is no middle ground when it comes to “playing politics.” One either has agendas or they don’t.
This influence is key for any leader, but it can also help anyone who would like to exert positive influence over the peers even if they are not a leader.
In the American culture we have traditionally viewed great leaders as almost super-human in their strength. But of course, this strength is not often thought of as purely physical. Society has viewed great leaders as emotionally strong to the point of stoicism. Or we might think of it as mental of physical stamina.
Whatever the case may be, all leaders are human, and humans are vulnerable. Good leaders should view showing their vulnerability from time to time, by asking for help, an asset. A good leader should not think in terms of showing any vulnerability as a weakness.
There are two clear reasons why trying to be more than human isn’t a good plan. First, it is unsustainable. Life will eventually find a way to put a weakness, flaw or fault in our path and we will need help to overcome it.
Second, it isn’t good leadership. If we all can agree that leadership is about connection we can agree on this second point. We know that people will only work hard, create and risk for you if they feel connected. How can one create this level of trust by only putting our strengths on display? When the time comes for a leader to face one of their weakness they may come of as dishonest or at worst an outright fraud.
The best thing to remember is that our struggles define us in equal measure as our successes. Being able to be honest about needing help is an essential trait of a great leader.
It is reasonable to state that the contention about whether leaders are conceived or created has been settled. The fortune spent consistently by organizations on different types of education for leaders is proof enough for the possibility that, while certain leadership abilities might be hereditary, a lot of the stuff needed to be a leader can be learned.
The appropriate response, for most HR offices, has been courses, with a lot of classroom learning. The issue is that the classroom learning gives members information yet not the abilities required to do the things that will make them viable pioneers. Unified to this is an absence of acknowledgment of the significance of propensities to human conduct. It is on the grounds that we are animals of propensity that – notwithstanding when enlivened by courses when we are on them and first come back from them – we once in a while change how we approach our function in the more drawn out term, with the outcome that the association neglects to see the enhancement in business it was anticipating.
It is just by transforming book learning into abilities, that is, making them regular practices in our lives, that an individual can truly change and on account of a real or hopeful leader procure the stuff to be compelling. The essential thought is that giving only a couple of minutes daily to building up these key abilities can change how people carry on thus make them progressive and powerful.
What qualities do they have that assist them? How do they exceed expectations at an abnormal rate? The best pioneers share characteristics. These qualities can be learned.
Pioneers show others how its done with a strong vision. They have a ravenous enthusiasm for effectively executing the vision of the organization. They don’t sit around stressing over everyday duties or issues. Rather, they rally to where the association needs to go.
Incredible pioneers know how to act naturally and are glad for their self-confidence. Since they are alright with their identity, they can do what they have to do and say what they have to with conviction.
Incredible pioneers can motivate trust in others. They can unmistakably and quickly convey their message to propel people around them to more accomplishments.
When delivered with sincerity two of the most difficult sentences to speak are probably “I apologize” and “apology accepted” or another reasonable proxy of the pair. The first has one admitting to fault, where the second releases it. If only our lives were like the sitcoms where no matter the trouble husbands and wives, brothers and sisters, parents and their children, or co-workers get all the loose ends tied up in a matter of sixty minutes or less. Everyone hugs and the camera fades out.
Unfortunately admitting to and forgiving fault isn’t something most of us are good at. But when this exchange doesn’t occur that can create a toxic cycle inside an organization. But, how does an organization reach a state of honesty?
Pride must be put aside. The issue is that humans are savagely self-protective, it’s an evolutionary reaction to a threatening world. No longer is the danger an apex predator, but our image among our peers. None the less, we fight for it tooth and nail. So, breaking through pride is to against our instinct. It will be difficult. Second, one needs to not take things personally. Everyone makes mistakes. And most mistakes are hardly so terrible as to warrant defining a person.
We have to unburden ourselves of these very human experiences. Helping our peers and mentees realize that everyone needs to go through this process for the greater good is an essential activity for any leader.
The first thing to expect when there is a sudden, unexpected void in leadership is uncertainty and concern. There also might be a sudden gap in experience and knowledge. It is important to remember that sudden change can make even the most productive or cool-headed people act unlike their usual self. Stability in an organization is key and leadership provides that.
While this won’t help those who are currently experiencing a leadership void, planning ahead for the eventuality will, hopefully, help an organization experience very little transitional drama. Having a clear, public plan in place for succession in leadership roles is the easiest way to prepare for both expected and unexpected leadership transitions.
Current leaders should be grooming one or several people to take their place and make it plainly know who is in line for what positions and why. The succession plan should support the values and goals of the organization that are already in place. The people in line should also be supportive of these values and goals.
If one’s organization is in the unfortunate position of not having a plan in place when a leadership void occurs there are some things to be done. Quickly finding a respected, knowledgeable and senior member of the team to take charge will calm many people’s concerns, even if this role is temporary. Keep open lines of communication and avoiding feeding rumor mills is essential. All members, but especially senior members, of the team need to step up and lead by example.
As much as possible all members of the organization should do their part in keeping up the status quo as the team reorganizes itself. Most importantly everyone should remember as disastrous and chaotic as a sudden void in leadership may feel, it is not the end.