Trust goes both ways
Leadership has been called "the ability to enlist followers." One of the deepest cravings of human nature is the need to feel important, to have a sense of meaning and purpose in life and work. We need to find a purpose in our work that goes beyond finishing the job. Leaders are invariably those who can help provide this sense of purpose and tap into the deeper emotions of others so that they rise above and go beyond anything they may have accomplished in the past.
How do you, how do leaders do this? They do it with words. Winston Churchill was able to arouse and inspire an entire nation with words, words like these: "Let us so carry ourselves that if the British Empire should endure a thousand years, men will still say this was their finest hour."
Lee Iacocca stepped into Chrysler Corporation when the company was almost bankrupt. Through the sheer force of his personality, his unshakable determination, his appeals to Congress, to Chrysler workers, and to Chrysler customers with his personal messages and television commercials, spearheaded a turn-around that will go down in the history books as one of the greatest achievements in American business.
The key to securing followers in every case is to "trust your subordinates." Many studies have concluded that it is the mutual bond of trust and respect that acts as the catalyst that creates high performance. Not only must you trust your subordinates, but even more important, they must trust you.
In order to "enlist followers," your subordinates must have an absolute belief in your integrity. They must believe that you will abide by the highest ethical standards of fairness and justice. Integrity appears over and over as the most important leadership quality [Leadership Principle #1 - Lead From High Ideals]. People can only put their whole hearts into their work when they feel secure and they can only feel secure when they can relax and trust you completely.
Here are three things you can do
immediately to bring out the very best from the people who look up to you:
First, develop a well thought out, succinct, easily memorized mission statement, referring to it at least once a day.
Second, make people feel important. Tell them how important and valuable they are and then give them both the responsibility and the opportunity to do their job the very best they know how.
This is a weighty responsibility and we may wish it wasn’t true. It places a lot of pressure on the aspiring leader. If you are willing to commit, step up to the challenge, you will not only bring the best out in others through the process, you will bring out the best in yourself.
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