The Trust Factor in Leadership

In 2009 a Gallup research team asked more than 10,000 followers what the most influential leaders contribute to their lives.  Four basic needs were identified in this study:

Trust

Compassion

Stability

Hope

The last two initially got me thinking.  So many leaders have to provide stability in difficult times, yet also at the same time give a measure of hope to followers about the future.

This is easier said than done of course.  For example, if the future is uncertain, it’s likely to have an  affect on stability in the now. Alternatively, if things are unstable now, it’s quite a challenge to inspire hope for a better tomorrow.  (Politics are a current example of this)

Followers of course love compassion, but trust is where it all begins and ends in leadership.

Trust is a two way thing.  I once heard a story by a guy called Ranjith Kumar which explains this very well:

A little girl and her father were crossing a bridge. The father said to his daughter, ‘please hold my hand.’  The little girl said, ‘No, Dad. You hold my hand.’  ‘What’s the difference?’ Asked the puzzled father.  ‘There’s a big difference,’ replied the little girl.

‘If I hold your hand and something happens to me, chances are that I may let your hand go.  But if you hold my hand, I know for sure that no matter what happens, you will never let my hand go.’

The moral of this story is this:

In any relationship, the essence of trust is not in its bind, but in its bond.

 

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