Leadership, Dealing With Trust Issues

I’m in Hannover, Germany. My room overlooks the beautiful Machsee (a little lake) with the sunrise streaming over the lake. Beautiful morning. I’ll probably be walking several miles at the famous Hannover Fair (Hannover Messe) with about 23 buildings on the fairgrounds filled with exhibitors talking about the latest technology for industry. Always cool.

My meditation this morning included the latest Andy Stanley leadership podcast. This one on trust.

There are at least two points-of-view to look at the trust issue.

Trust is essentially doing what you say you’ll do. Living up to your commitments.

Do you say you’ll make the 9 am meeting, yet you don’t arrive until 9:15 or 9:30? Or you say you’ll be somewhere and then fail to show? Or you promise a report by end of day Wednesday, yet when Friday rolls around, no report?

In this gap between expectation and reality, how do those affected react? Do they suspect your motives, or do they give you the benefit of the doubt.

Suspicion is one real problem in an organization where there is often this gap.

Have you ever worked in an organization where people are suspicious of others’ motives? Constantly?

I have. Many times. I’m sure you have too. It’s never healthy.

A leader needs to perceive and deal with this attitude quickly. Have a conversation. Do some fact finding. Discover the cause of the gap. Deal with the facts. And if the facts are that the individual just cannot perform or be relied upon, then deal with that.

If you are the one who creates the gaps, transparency is your friend. Address the gap before anyone else has a chance to react. Let people know that you are aware and will change.

Suspicion in a church or any organization is like a cancer. It starts small and then it eats away at its health. Stop it before it can start.

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