Tuesday, July 09, 2013


Trust In Leadership

Ron Edmondson on seven ways for a leader to gain trust:
  • Always display confidence, but never cockiness.
  • Always follow through, so don’t over-commit.
  • Always put trust in others, so they’ll put trust in you.
  • Always extend grace, but be firm in some non-negotiables.
  • Always try to be knowledgeable and aware by constantly learning, but realize you don’t know everything and you’ll know far more with a team.
  • Always exhibit humility, but take great pride in your work.
  • Always value people more than you value progress.
That's good stuff, but somewhere I think it misses an essence. Th essence where I see the problem is when leaders use their position for their own gain and where they manipulate instead of reason. Let me break those two things down a bit.

A church is an institution that exists for a very specific purpose - leaders in the church, must be in service to that purpose - wholly and completely. Too often leaders do things to advance themselves that do not necessarily advance the purpose of the institution. That erodes my trust in them because at that point they and I are no longer focused on the same goal. Edmondson's talk of humility touches on this, but I think it needs to be emphasized. It is incumbent on a leader, especially a church leader, to spend enormous energy in self-evaluation (and listen carefully to those around them) to make sure they are focused on the goals and needs of the institution, not themselves.

The second place I lose trust in a leader is when they try to manipulate me. You know what I am talking about they resort to technique and sales trickery to get me to do something rather than reason with me. I think I may be unique in this, but manipulation is in my view a form of coercion and perhaps lying. Certainly it uses forces other that physical in its coercion and the lie is in the lack of a stated agenda, because if the agenda was stated resistance would form. It really is a form of deception. This Edmondson also strikes at briefly with his appeals to people first, but this is a little different.

If you read me as hating to deal with passive-aggressive leadership, you'd be right.


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