[October 6, 2017] Trustworthiness … it all boils down to whether people trust a leader and that trust becomes the interconnectedness of reliability, believability, and respectability. We have all seen it. Each of us has had the displeasure to observe the destruction that lazy leadership brings the workplace, the home, and those things we’ve built. It destroys trustworthiness.
Lazy leadership is used broadly among those in the military who study this phenomenon; and the same here at theLeaderMaker.com. It could mean a leader is not delegating, creating privileged in-groups, failing to develop talent or take care of people, giving inadequate guidance, avoiding conflict and wanting to be liked, not making hard decisions, or a host of other behaviors indicating an unwillingness to do the hard work required.
Of those characteristics the pattern is clear. One who is a lazy leader is also one who puts themselves above others and the mission of their organization. They are the ones who surround themselves with like-minded people, those who would push the real work off on others, and are quick to blame others for their own failure as a leader.
Lazy leaders take the easy way out of any circumstance and are frequently in a hurry to do tasks unrelated to their leadership role. Yet it is the duty of leaders to provide value to both their organization and to those who work there. For the lazy leader, however, putting in the time, effort, and courage is not an option.
I’m currently reading Hillary Clinton’s latest book, What Happened. On Amazon.com it current is trending close to a five-star rating. For me, the book is difficult to read because Clinton gives one justification after another for her own failure to be elected. She fails to understand (and her followers) that when senior leaders fail, it is by definition their fault alone. The book is an unintended manuscript on those characteristics of failed leadership.
Trustworthiness is not created from the leader position one holds but comes from hard work, moral courage, vision, intelligence (yes, it does require some), and having the passion to push others to do things they would not typically do because they want to do it. This is what Hillary Clinton failed to do and a major reason why she was not elected.
Leadership means being able to give others a vision on where they should go. It means creating a “team of teams” and sustaining a winning spirit in them over the long term. People need to know what the leader stands for and why they are there. This is the core of trustworthiness and something leaders everywhere should never ignore.
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