#6 The Law of Solid Ground
From the book “The 21 Laws of Leadership” by John C. Maxwell
#6 The Law of Solid Ground - Trust Is the Foundation of Leadership
It’s not the decisions…it’s the leadership
As a leader it’s important to make decisions with input from your team so they have time to process the changes. Failure to do so will result in mistrust.
When it comes to leadership, you can’t take shortcuts, no matter how long you’ve been leading your people.
When you become a leader you have a certain amount of change in your pocket…from that point forward, you either build on that or you pay out change. If you make multiple bad decisions, you keep paying out. Then one day after making one last bad decision, you will reach into your pocket and realize you are out of change. It doesn’t matter if the blunder is big or small. When you’re out of change, your out as the leader.
A leader who keeps making good decisions and keeps recording wins for the organization builds up they’re change. Then even if the leader makes a huge blunder, they can still have plenty of change left over.
TRUST IS THE FOUNDATION OF LEADERSHIP
To build trust, a leader must exemplify competence, connection, and character.
Character makes trust possible. And trust makes leadership possible. That is the Law of Solid Ground.
CHARACTER COMMUNICATES CONSISTENCY
You must model high character all the time to personify integrity.
CHARACTER COMMUNICATES POTENTIAL
You don’t build trust by talking about it. You build it by achieving results, always with integrity and in a manner that shows real personal regard for the people with whom you work. When a leader’s character is strong, people trust the leader, and that trust is the leaders ability to release their full potential.
CHARACTER COMMUNICATES RESPECT
When you don’t have strength within, you can’t earn respect without. And respect is absolutely essential for lasting leadership. How do leaders earn respect? By making sound decisions admitting their mistakes, and putting what’s best for their followers and the organization ahead of their personal agendas.
A leader’s good character builds trust among followers. But when a leader breaks trust, the leader forfeits their ability to lead.
FIRST TRUST, THEN SUPPORT
Leaders words and facts must match up. If not, your followers will lose faith because they will not be able to trust you. As a result your ability to lead will suffer and support will vanish.
Trust is the foundation of leadership. Violate the Law of Solid Ground, and you’re through as a leader.
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