In my final MACRR class, I’ve been reading The Leadership Challenge by Kouzes and Posner. It has been an incredible read and I anticipate reading it more than once. It is replete with profound thoughts that are essential to all leaders, both current and would be.
Trust is at the core of leadership. One might think he/she is a leader, but if they aren’t trusted by those under them they aren’t leaders. There’s no way around it. Followers, also, will not follow those who they don’t believe can trust, themselves. Let the following quote from The Leadership Challenge sink in a bit.
People who work for highly controlling managers are more likely to keep information to themselves, hide the truth, and be dishonest about what is going on.
No surprise, then, that controlling managers have low credibility. Highly controlling behaviors- inspecting, correcting, checking up- signal lack of trust. How do you respond to people who don’t trust you? You don’t trust them. And because trustworthiness is a key element of personal credibility, credibility diminishes. People are unlikely to believe someone who does not exhibit trust in them.
In business and organizations, controls are important. In highly personal interactive environments, though, there must also be significant trust for there to be internal healthiness. Trust and credibility must exist from to to bottom. If these aren’t present, dysfunction is inevitable.