I recently finished reading a book by John Blakely entitled, The Trusted Executive – Nine Leadership Habits that Inspire Results, Relationships and Reputation, and came across some important aspects mentioned within that I wanted to share with all of you. It would be great if you would take a moment to review, and reflect upon them.
The Habits of Ability
- Choosing to deliver—People trust you when you have a track record of success. That means you follow through on your commitments and deliver results. Be sure you only make commitments you can keep and be careful of using the “P” word—promise. If you promise to do something, make sure you do it. Breaking a promise is one of the quickest ways to erode people’s trust.
- Choosing to coach—The number one priority of a sports coach is to help players maximize their abilities and achieve success. When leaders develop the habit of acting like a coach they put the needs of their people ahead of their own. Your job as a leader is plain and simple—help your people succeed.
- Choosing to be consistent—Predictable and consistent behavior is essential for being a trustworthy leader. Your people trust you when they can rely on you to act, and react, in a consistent manner. Wild swings of behavior lead people to be on edge and behaving inconsistently will cause your people to hold back on giving you their views because they aren’t sure how you’ll react when they encounter difficulties.
The Habits of Integrity
- Choosing to be honest—Honesty is the foundation of integrity. It means you tell the truth, admit mistakes, and make ethical decisions. If people can’t trust your word, they find it hard to trust anything else about you.
- Choosing to be open—Trustworthy leaders share information in an open and transparent fashion. They keep their team members informed so they can make responsible decisions because without information people are shooting in the dark.
- Choosing to be humble—Trustworthy leaders are humble leaders. Humbleness doesn’t mean meekness; humbleness is strength under control. Leading with humility means you consider the needs of your people more important than your own.
The Habits of Benevolence
- Choosing to evangelize—Blakey advocates that leaders need to be evangelists who spread the good news of all the great things happening in their organizations. Bad news travels like wildfire and trustworthy leaders keep their people focused on the vision and goals of the organization.
- Choosing to be brave—Leadership is not for the faint of heart. Leaders have to make tough decisions, often in uncertain conditions with sparse information. Trustworthy leaders demonstrate bravery by making decisions in alignment with their values and those of the organization.
- Choosing to be kind—Kindness should not be underestimated when it comes to building trust. Extending common courtesies, praising and recognizing team members, and building personal rapport are all ways leaders demonstrate kindness.
Wow, this is some very powerful stuff and aligns very much with Etech’s Servant Leadership model. Leaders don’t become trustworthy by accident. They have to learn these skills and practice them regularly in order to form a habit of them. Developing these nine habits will help you become the kind of leaders your people not only desire but deserve.