Sunday, December 28, 2014

Three Proven Qualities of Great Leaders #1 Trust

Three Proven Qualities of Great Leaders #1 Trust
It may sound like a paradox, but a great leader isn't someone who leads. It's someone other people want to follow. This isn't a matter of personal charisma, star power, luck, or ambition. If you expect to lead any group, whether a small team at work or a nation, you will do it best by acquiring real-life skills and applying them. For decades the Gallup Organization, gathering masses of data worldwide, have asked workers what makes a great boss. The top three answers cut through a great deal of the so-called mystery of leadership.
The first factor was trust. "He's looking out for us" is the most basic and important thing that a worker can say about a good boss. In war a soldier's life depends on trusting that the generals in charge can be trusted. All generals give orders that must be followed. Only a few engender the kind of loyalty that sends people into risk and danger.
To follow isn't a matter of blind trust, however. People judge their leaders pragmatically. Ronald Reagan's famous line, "Ask yourself if you are better off today than you were four years ago" was decisive in winning him the Presidency. It won't matter how good you feel you are at leading if your team's wellbeing is on the decline.
It's easy to get carried away by ego--or at the other extreme by insecurity--so step back and consider the ingredients that make other people willing to trust you.

Your actions are consistent
  • Your words match your deeds.
  • You make promises you can keep.
  • You take responsibility for your decisions.
  • You don't backstab or undercut those around you.
  • You don't focus on yourself.
  • You monitor the success and welfare of your cohorts.
  •  You tell the truth.
On any given day you can measure yourself by these criteria. They apply as a parent or as President of the United States. Whatever your self-image may be, these guidelines give you an objective measure of your performance.

There's an opposite to every positive trait, so here's the pattern that failing leaders follow as they cause trust to deteriorate around them.
  • They are fickle and inconsistent. You can't predict what they will say or do tomorrow.
  • They talk the talk but can't be trusted to walk the walk.
  • They are generous with promises but weak on follow through.
  • They make excuses for themselves and pass the blame on to others.
  • They are quick to find a fall guy.
  •  They gossip and backstab, in the belief that remaining on top means creating insecurity among potential rivals.
  • They only care deep down about number one.
  • They only care about the success of those who hang on to their coattails.
  • They adjust the truth according to the situation at hand.
Take some time once or twice a week to perform an honest self-evaluation of how much trust you are actually earning. Making this a habit will serve you well on your path to leadership.

Thanks to Deepak Chopra for the article