Trust is a Fundamental Component of a Leadership Mindset
Much like having your own personal leadership philosophy (see the previous blog on Why You Need a Personal Leadership Philosophy), to become a great leader also requires the development of your own leadership mindset based on your own set of personal values and beliefs.
Dr. Jim Taylor defined mindset in an article in Psychology Today as, “the attitudes, beliefs, and expectations you hold that act as the foundation of what you are, how you lead, and the ways in which you interact with your team.”
He goes on in his article to explain, “Your mindset is so influential because it determines how you think about and interpret situations, your emotional reactions, the decisions you make, and the actions you take. Your mindset directly impacts the quality of your relationships, the interactions you have, and the way you lead. It also sets the tone for your organization and determines the kind of experiences your people have in their working lives.”
As we wrote last week, by creating and maintaining your own leadership philosophy and mindset, and then identifying the behaviors that will help you implement these guiding principles, you will avoid the leadership decision-making trap highlighted by Panasonic founder Konosuke Matsushita of deciding everything on a case-by-case basis.
This results in consistency of leadership behavior; a benefit for both you and your team members.
Some of the core values you may want to include in your personal leadership mindset philosophy could be: resilience, adaptability, transparency, keen focus on people development, having a vision grounded in reality, or even becoming more mindful and conscious of your decisions, actions, and behaviors.
The important thing is that the values must be your own — things you deeply believe in and care about. They cannot just be a list of positive attributes that you find in a book or online.
No matter what attributes and values you choose, however, trust overrides them all. Without trust, none of your other attributes and values matter. Trust is something you earn and maintain through your behaviors. It is not bestowed upon you by rank or title.
Great leaders build trust through transparency and honesty. They are willing to explain the reasons behind decisions. They are also willing to acknowledge when they do not know the answer or solution to a problem.
As I have often said in my leadership development programs: “A team is not a group of people who work together. A team is a group of people working together towards a shared outcome who trust and respect each other.”
In the words of Klaus Balkenhol, a gold-medal winning Olympian, “There is a difference between being a leader and being a boss. Both are based on authority. A boss demands blind obedience; a leader earns his authority through understanding and trust.”
This article is excerpted from my book Great Leadership Words of Wisdom, which is available on Amazon in both paperback and Kindle formats and has over 1000 quotes on leadership from global business leaders, statesmen, athletes, coaches, sages, and philosophers.