Behind every great nation, community or organization, stands a great leader. Leaders shape the direction and effectiveness of every entity, and sometimes, this transcends their organization and influences society. Take Steve Jobs and Apple, for example. Everyone can tell Apple’s meteoric rise is due to his leadership. People can also look at Nokia’s fall and feel the effect of bad leadership. But while it’s easy to point out bad leaders and their traits, people tend to struggle to answer the question: what does being a leader mean?
Many followers or employees want to know how to determine if they can trust a leader. They need to know what to look out for in a real leader. This article aims to clear these questions up.
Studies have shown that the best leaders are the ones who possess and exhibit certain essential traits. Below are some of them that would hopefully help you identify a trustworthy leader and cultivate yourself to become one.
A trustworthy leader has to be competent. That’s the first and most important part of leadership. For any leader, it’s important to have the skills and knowledge necessary to properly guide their followers.
However, this doesn’t mean a trustworthy leader must know all the answers. There are situations when a leader is unsure what to do and which path to take.
In this case, the confusion may probably stem from the fact that the leader has too many options available to them. Hence, the right step to take would be to simply choose any path and commit to it totally.
By committing to a random path and giving it your best shot, you would achieve your goals without having to spend time drowning in the quicksand of indecisiveness.
The truth is: there’s no point trying to define trustworthy leadership without using the word “honest”. While honesty is a good attribute for every human to have, it’s absolutely expected of a leader to be honest and straightforward in everything they’re involved in.
In this case, honesty isn’t just limited to telling the truth and disseminating only accurate information. As a leader, you also have to be able to hold yourself to the same standards of honesty as your employees. This includes avoiding self-righteousness and being able to own up to making mistakes publicly.
Even when it comes to addressing your followers or subordinates during a corporate event, you have to ensure that each word that comes out of your mouth is true and void of any exaggerations. If you aren’t sure how to do this, you could use any essay writing service to help write your speech professionally and timely.
As a leader, it can be tempting to over promise or tell a little white lie occasionally. However, trust is a fragile thing sometimes, and even the “simplest” white lie can destroy the trust you’ve built over the years.
Sure, it’s overwhelming to live up to the standards of honest leadership, but leaders can chart through these uncertain waters by being humane and true to themselves. Don’t be afraid to open up to your followers because contrary to what you probably think, they don’t hold you to any unrealistic standards.
Simply stay transparent and unbiased. This way, you would be able to gain and retain the trust of your followers.
You might think it’s not a leader’s responsibility to listen, but the truth is that it’s a critical part of their job description. When it comes to leadership, it’s important to stay approachable and listen to your followers no matter what.
Listening helps expand your perspective on things and opens you up to a whole new world of diverse ideas. It equally helps strengthen the bond between leaders and their followers.
In most scenarios, there may be a gap between a leader’s perception of issues and that of the followers. By being open-minded and listening to your followers, you can easily bridge the gap and create a better work environment.
A trustworthy leader is supposed to be calm in the face of a storm. When things are not going well, people need someone who is clear-headed to focus on the big picture and provide clarity. No one trusts someone who loses their cool during times of trouble and snaps at people they’re supposed to lead. Therefore, when things become too heated, anybody aiming to become a trustworthy leader should take a step back, assess the situation and plot a way forward without antagonizing their followers.
Willingness To Step Aside
Trust is a two-way thing. As such, a leader should be able to trust his/her followers to get things done. A leader who can step aside or delegate activities to subordinates is a leader who demonstrates trust in their followers. As such, followers will trust the leader in return. By trusting their followers, leaders create a proactive power structure where their followers can make their own decisions.
This creates room for their followers to work on leadership improvement areas in their lives. Trusting your followers helps you create more leaders, and this means that they can come to you for leadership advice later because they fully trust your judgment.
Having gone through this article, you must already know that leaders who act with the interests of their followers in mind will exhibit most of these characteristics. If you want to be a trustworthy leader, developing these attributes is a good way to start. While leadership may be dynamic, these attributes will prove invaluable in whatever leadership role you might find yourself in in the future.