When was the last time that you had to make a difficult decision that involved others? Successful leaders have a clear purpose. They know what they want and they are decision makers. "If it is hard, do it. If it is inconvenient for you, do it." Our followers are expecting us to take action.
Last week I had to make a tough decision that would impact docens of people and future plans. Not only that, my actions would either build or break the credibility and trust with people that I had not yet met. I could not procrastinate to make this decision. Procastination is the enemy of decision and is the friend of failure. Hours were passing by and I was expected to act. This moment defined one of the challenging aspects of being a leader: we need to show up.
In the video below I give more details about the specific situation that was presented to me. I did lots of reflection. I had several meetings with the people involved. I made a decision on time.
What did I learn from this lesson?
Leaders show up. Because if we don't do it gives a negative message and it shows our followers that it is ok to not show up, therefore they will do the same. I learnt that in order to lead well and effectively there needs to be a level of trust first. People buy into the leader before they buy into the vision. We need to develop trust if we are to influence those who follow us.
How do we build trust among our followers?
1. Making decisions: It does not matter if it is right or wrong. Sometimes we do not make decisions because we are afraid to offend other people or we do not want to come accross as harsh. We can become attached to what people might say. Yes, we do need to care about what others say to a certain degree but there needs to be a detachment from the feelings that it might create. We cannot please everybody. Indecision is cutting in. Decission is cutting out. Cutting out options.
2. Show empathy: Depressed, ruthless leaders create toxic enviroments filled with negative underachievers. On the opposite, upbeat and inspirational leaders cultivate positive environments where other people's opinions are heard and challenges are embraced. When leaders show empathy and care for others, trust is built.
3. Work Hard: Be the first person coming in the office and the last person to leave. Model the behavior you seek. Nothing speaks more loudly about the culture of an organization than the leader’s behavior, which influences employee action and has the potential to drive their results. If the leaders work hard, people will trust in them.
4. Demonstrate Excellence: Your excellence will increase your influence. Successful leaders choose to make every moment count and they always show their best attitude. They treat their people fairly and in exchange people respond in ways that bolster the organization's bottom line both directly and indirectly.
Next Step: What are you currently doing to build trust within your organization? What things need to be modified to increase your influence? What are the new commitments?
I would love to hear them and offer some guidance if there are specific challenges that you are currently facing.
Watch this video to know my story and how I learnt these lessons:
I look forward to connecting with you.