of the Trusted Leader Part I: Thoughtful Leader or Trusted
a thoughtful leader, you know that you have many responsibilities.
You no doubt take them seriously. And you try to work in a
way that fulfills them on a daily basis.
keep an eye on competitors, and try to align your strategy
to ensure that your company performs to its maximum potential
in the marketplace.
monitor the climate internally also, and try to rectify any
problems that you find are either disrupting or threatening
to disrupt the workflow (for example, you act as mediator
when employees are at odds with one another).
do the administrative busy work that you need to in order
to ensure that your employees’ work lives run, as much
as possible, uninterrupted. Regular, formal, performance reviews.
Salary reviews. Bonus reviews.
try to help individual employees meet their own career goals
while at the same time maintaining a balance of talent, skill,
and synergy among your direct and indirect reports.
schedule meetings. You hire consultants, and coaches, as needed.
You answer emails, voice mails, sometimes even letters. You’re
as responsive as you can be. You keep your own career in mind
as you go along, but you put the company first.
There’s no surprise in any of that; all of the above
falls neatly under the heading “responsibilities of
Four Responsibilities of Trusted Leaders
you aspire to be a trusted leader, though, and you truly aim
to build trust inside, you need to think about these responsibilities
in a different light. On a different plane. Yes, of course,
you’ll continue to do all of the strategic and tactical
things you would do as a thoughtful leader. But trusted leadership
raises the bar.
In the companies and situations we’ve examined, we’ve
found that truly trusted leaders seek to fulfill four greater
responsibilities, which, essentially, they use as the foundation,
or rationale, for everything else that they normally do.
another way, the responsibilities of the trusted leader, as
we’ve identified them, form the framework within which
everything else gets done; they ensure that your work, however
discrete the tasks, ties into a greater whole at the end of
first two of these responsibilities can fall under the heading
of building your organization. They are:
- Developing a community of future leaders
- Fostering organizational vitality.
other two are more personal:
- Identifying and modeling appropriate personal attributes
- Consciously planning your legacy.
Trusted Leadership Requires Focus
responsibilities of the trusted leader sound straightforward,
if somewhat intangible. And we wouldn’t be surprised
if you said that you’re fulfilling many of them already,
in part, or subconsciously, as you do your work.
order to create a truly trust-based organization, though,
you must address them explicitly, which isn’t something
that comes naturally, especially when your time is taken up
24/7 with the tasks of being a top manager. That is, you must
invest the time to reflect on them, articulate them, and check
in with them on a more-than-annual basis.
It’s worth the effort. Fulfilling the responsibilities
of good or thoughtful leadership may yield successes, even
marketplace home runs. But aspiring to fulfill the responsibilities
of the trusted leader – in other words, having a
philosophy that explains why you do what you do –
can accomplish all of that and more. It builds strength at
the core, and ultimately makes your work, and the work of
all those in your company, more meaningful, whatever your
position in the market.
do you feel are the responsibilities of trusted leaders? Let
forward this newsletter to your colleagues and friends who
are interested in organizational and leadership issues. Your
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