[November 24, 2018] The idea that leadership is a sacred trust is not new. Because the meaning is so broad, there is a lack of clarity. What does it mean when we say that leadership is a sacred trust? Is this a religious statement?
“It is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful.” – 1 Corinthians 4:2, The Holy Bible
It would appear, at least on the surface of the idea, that leadership being a sacred trust is somehow connected to religious beliefs. A scan of recent leadership, both professional and religious (or both) suggests that it is a religious idea or at least got its start in religious beliefs.
There are many in the U.S. military and some philosophers who have made a strong case that leadership is about accountability, stewardship, and establishing trust (i.e., faith, bond, and loyalty). The suggestion that a sacred trust is one of the central tenets to understanding leadership draws upon the most basic need for humans in any social context.
A sacred trust is both religious and social.
Trust remains at the heart of leadership. Without trust there is conflict and chaos. Disconnects in communication will be often when trust is lacking. Real leaders understand that they must ensure that trust is maintained and improved upon whenever possible. Thus, trust is what connects us to other humans in all contexts. Without it, we fail.
Many in our lives will drive a wedge between us and others. It could be a politician looking for votes, a business partner looking to take advantage, a family member who dislikes us, etc. Leaders must, therefore, make an extraordinary effort to instill trust.
If people like you, they will listen to your, but if they trust you, they will follow you anywhere.