“People will follow you for a while because they picked you. But they’ll follow you over the long term because they trust you.”
“Charm and charisma are like a glider; they fly, but not indefinitely. And they do not do well in turbulent times”
Trust is essential for leadership. But it is also essential for everyday living. My parents used to tell me that in order to drive on the motorway, you needed to attribute a certain level of trust to the drivers on the road – that they would continue to move forward.
But the level of trust required for effective leadership is a little higher. So how can we build more trust?
- Consistency (in good and bad, in the secret place as well as the public place)
- Dependability (do we make good on what we say)
- Openness and honesty (even, and especially, in areas of failure and weakness)
- Hard work (oftentimes a reputation of being a hard worker will trump success)
- Longevity (it can be harder for a new leader to acquire the same level of trust as one who has ‘stuck around’)
- Intimacy and Pursuit of Jesus (As Christian leaders, and Church leaders, people will cotton on to your motives. We can do “all the right things” without a passionate pursuit of Jesus – and people will notice. In contrast, we can make all the mistakes, yet have an evident intimacy with God – and people will notice. Consider the words of the great king: We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on You. Consider the words of the great church founder: I made to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ. Whatever were gains to me I now consider loss. I did not come with wise and eloquent words, but rather with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power.
May we, as Church leaders, as Christian leaders, be people who have large accounts of trustworthiness. In a world where trust is savagely dismembered towards our leaders, may the Church step up with leaders who are trustworthy.